World Bulletin / News Desk
"In five days [that the border was open], 2,961 people -- including students, medical patients and holders of foreign residencies -- departed the Gaza Strip for Egypt," read a statement issued by the border authority.
Over the same period, the statement added, 1,620 Palestinians entered Gaza from Egypt, while 159 Gazans were denied entry into Egypt for reasons that were not stated.
On June 29, the Egyptian authorities announced that the border crossing would be opened -- in both directions -- for five non-consecutive days ending Monday night.
According to Gaza’s Interior Ministry, more than 20,000 residents of the coastal enclave are waiting to cross Egypt’s Rafah border crossing, Gaza's only means of access to the outside world not under Israeli control.
Since the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup, Egypt has kept its border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip tightly sealed for the most part.
Over the course of last year, the Egyptian authorities only opened the crossing for a total of 21 days, according to Gaza’s Interior Ministry.
The long periods of closure at the Rafah crossing have brought the territory’s roughly 1.9 million inhabitants to the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.