Egypt reopens Rafah crossing for pilgrims

Only pilgrims will be allowed through the crossing on Sunday and Monday

Egypt reopens Rafah crossing for pilgrims

World Bulletin/News Desk

Egyptian authorities on Sunday reopened the Rafah crossing on the border with Gaza Strip to allow the movement of pilgrims.

Around 800 pilgrims will be allowed to travel through the crossing en route to Saudi Arabia, Maher Abu Sabha, the head of the Gaza crossings authority, told Anadolu Agency.

He said only pilgrims will be allowed through the crossing on Sunday and Monday.

"Egyptian authorities have not informed us that they would allow stranded patients to leave the Palestinian enclave," added Abu Sabha.

He said around 15,000 Palestinians had registered so far to travel through the Rafah crossing.

Gazans complain that frequent border closures by Egypt, along with an eight-year-old Israeli blockade, have contributed to worsening economic and humanitarian conditions in the coastal enclave.

Egypt has tightened its grip on its border with Gaza since last July, when the army ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president.

Egyptian authorities accuse Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007, of interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs and carrying out attacks inside the country – charges Hamas emphatically denies.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mayıs 2014, 10:51
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