Egyptian authorities on Saturday opened the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt in both directions for humanitarian cases, the Ma’an news agency reports.
Officials said the crossing is expected to remain open for the next three days.
Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossingseveral times since that attack, mostly for the passage of humanitarian cases.
The reason for the closures of the Rafah crossing is Egypt’s accusations that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal 2014 attack, which killed 30 soldiers, through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.
In addition to keeping the crossing closed, Egypt has shut down the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, which terrorists use to smuggle weapons, and has also built a buffer zone along the border, expelling large numbers of people from their homes for that purpose.
Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers were friendly with the Egyptian regime of former President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent movement. Relations have soured with Morsi’s successor, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has declared a war on Sinai-based terrorism.
Hamas has attempted to restore ties with Egypt. This week, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met in Cairo with Egyptian officials to discuss ways to improve strained Hamas-Egypt relations.
On Friday, he returned to Gaza and indicated to journalists that the relationship between Hamas and Egypt was improving.