Egypt to transiently open Gaza border

The Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah border crossing this weekend to allow medical patients and students enrolled at foreign universities to leave the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to Gazan border officials.

“The Egyptians have told us that they will open the crossing on Saturday and Sunday to allow humanitarian cases [i.e., medical patients and students] to travel abroad,” Hisham Odwan, Rafah crossing director on the Palestinian side, told Anadolu Agency.

The report has been confirmed by the Palestinian embassy in Egypt, which said medical patients and holders of foreign residence permits would be given priority.

In late June, the Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing for five days, allowing some 3,000 Gazans to leave the blockaded coastal enclave.

According to Gaza’s border crossing authority, roughly 25,000 people in Gaza — including some 4,000 medical patients — are now on the waiting list to leave the strip.

Fully blockaded by Israel since 2007, when Palestinian resistance movement Hamas wrested control of the territory, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world.

Six of these are controlled by Israel, while the seventh — at Rafah — is controlled by Egypt, which has kept the border sealed for the most part since a 2013 military coup.

Author: Ali Abo Rezeg


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