World Bulletin / News Desk
The Egyptian authorities on Saturday announced they would open the Rafah border crossing for three days starting September 7 to allow Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, an Egyptian official has told Anadolu Agency.
“Egypt has informed the Palestinian side that it would open the crossing for Hajj pilgrims and to allow Gazans stranded in Egypt to return to the strip,” the official said.
Earlier Saturday, Gaza’s Interior Ministry said that some 20,000 Gazans had lodged requests to leave the coastal territory for various humanitarian reasons.
The ministry went on to note that, so far this year, the Egyptian authorities had only opened the border crossing for a total of 15 days.
Since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt’s first freely elected president -- in a 2013 military coup, Egypt has kept its border with the Gaza Strip tightly sealed for the most part.
Egypt has justified the closure by pointing to frequent militant attacks on security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula, which shares borders with both the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Since 2007, the Palestinian enclave has groaned under a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has deprived its roughly 1.9 million inhabitants of most basic goods, including food, medicine and building materials.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ağustos 2015, 09:04