CAIRO: Thousands of Palestinians flocked to the Egypt-Gaza border crossing of Rafah Saturday morning after Egyptian authorities opened it in both directions for three days, Youm7 reported.
Palestinian Interior Ministry announced it has a list of over 15,000 “humanitarian cases” registered to cross the borders, which have been closed since May 27.
The crossing will reopen in the two directions to allow Palestinians who are allowed residence in Egypt or who hold visas and foreign passports, said the Palestinian embassy in Cairo in a statement Wednesday.
“Opening the crossing came following intervention from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to facilitate [travelling] for our Palestinian people in Gaza Strip,” the statement read.
There were “unremitting contact” with the Egyptian authorities for the travel of humanitarian cases and Palestinians, the statement added.
On May 27, the crossing was reopened for three days for the Palestinians in one direction (Rafah to Gaza); around 1,440 crossed into to the Palestinian side over the three days, Youm7 reported.
The border was opened for three days in January 2015 in both directions. Before that, it was opened briefly in December 2014 to allow students and humanitarian cases to enter Egypt.
Since October 2014 attacks on Egyptian military personnel in Arish of North Sinai, Egypt has launched a military campaign and closed the crossing to build a 1-kilometer buffer zone along the border to stop infiltration of “terrorists” through smuggling tunnels.