Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing with Gaza for 2 days
Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza - YOUM7 (archives)

CAIRO: Egypt opened its Rafah border crossing with Palestine Sunday, and will keep it open Monday to allow people to enter the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior announced in a statement.

An Egyptian security source told the state-run MENA in a statement that dozens of stranded people from different Arab and foreign countries are now on their way to the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian authorities reopened the crossing for Sunday and Monday for the return of stranded Palestinians to the Gaza Strip, he added.

The crossing was earlier opened Wednesday for two days to facilitate the transit of Palestinians stranded in Egypt, Palestinian Ministry of Interior spokesperson Maher Abu Sabha announced Wednesday.

He added in another statement Thursday that 2,384 people entered into the strip in the two-day window, and 29 of the border crossers were deported from Egyptian prisons after being arrested.

Egypt closed the Rafah crossing following coordinated Oct. 24 militant attacks in North Sinai near the border that killed over 30 Egyptian soldiers and injured dozens more. This resulted in more than 2,600 Palestinians being stranded on the Egyptian side, the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo told The Cairo Post Monday.

The Egyptian Army announced in late October it planned to clear buildings along the border to create a kilometer-wide buffer zone to prevent illegal border crossings. Authorities announced they would compensate anyone displaced by the measure.

The opening of the crossing coincides with a four-day visit being paid by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Cairo to attend the Arab Peace Initiative meetings at the Cairo-based Arab League.

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