Government opens Rafah border crossing for three days

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The Egyptian authorities decided on Saturday morning to open the main gate of Rafah border crossing for three days, so that buses carrying patients and students from Gaza could move to Egypt.

According to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram, the Rafah border crossing will be opened for three days as an exception to transfer Palestinian patients, students, and carriers of permissions of foreign stay to Egypt.

Egyptian authorities have, for the most part, kept the Rafah border crossing closed since July 2013. They had launched a campaign to destroy illegal underground tunnels, which have been vital in supplying Gaza residents with food, medicine, fuel, and building materials.

The border was then permanently closed on 24 October 2014, following attacks on the Qarm Al-Qawadis checkpoint by the militant group “Sinai Province.” The attack resulted in the deaths of at least 33 military personnel. Since then, the crossing has been opened in exceptional cases only.

The Egyptian army employs another method of destroying the tunnels, and that is by flooding them—a method often condemned by Hamas, the quasi ruler of the Gaza Strip.

 

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