Egypt keeps Rafah border crossing with Gaza open

Palestinian body urges Egypt to open Rafah border crossing permanently

Egypt keeps Rafah border crossing with Gaza open

World Bulletin / News Desk

Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah border crossing with the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip open in both directions for the second day in a row, the Palestinian crossings authority said Thursday.

In a statement, Gaza’s crossings authority said students, medical patients and Palestinians with foreign residencies would be allowed to cross.

On Wednesday, Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing with Gaza for two days to allow stranded Palestinians to pass through.

A total of 433 Palestinians left the seaside territory via the border terminal Wednesday, while 511 people crossed into the enclave, the authority said.

It went on to urge Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing on a permanent basis, noting that around 30,000 Gazans, including 4,000 medical patients desperately needed to cross the border.

Since the ouster of Egypt’s elected President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup, Egypt has kept the border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip tightly sealed for the most part.

In 2015, Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing for only 21 days and to limited traffic, according to data released by Gaza’s Interior Ministry.

The long periods of closure at the crossing -- which represents Gaza's only point of access to the outside world not under Israeli control -- have brought the coastal enclave’s roughly 1.9 million inhabitants to the verge of humanitarian catastrophe. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mayıs 2016, 12:35