Rafah border crossing closes after three-hour exceptional opening
Rafah border

CAIRO: The Rafah border crossing closed Thursday noon after three-hour exceptional opening to allow 300 stranded Palestinian to return to Gaza strip, Youm7 reported.

Egyptian authorities decided Wednesday to open the border from both directions on Thursday and Friday and extended its opening for further three hours in a third day for the passengers and the humanitarian aid from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. (Cairo local time.)

Over the past two days, a total of 126 Palestinian passengers crossed to and from both sides while total of the passengers arrived at the crossing Friday reached 500 people.  Trucks loaded with 605 tons of cement, medical assistance shipment, and 33 Kuwaiti vans carrying clothes and blankets to Gaza, also crossed the border during the two days.

The crossing has been re-operated exceptionally several times to facilitate the return of the Palestinian people. On Oct. 15, the crossing was reopened from the Palestine side and more than 2,000 passengers crossed. Over the past five weeks, the crossing re-operated for the Palestinian pilgrims.

The crossing has largely been closed since the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi amid Egyptian disagreements with Hamas and tense security situation in North Sinai.

Egypt’s closure of the crossing, however, began in 2007 after Hamas took over the strip. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi reiterated that regular opening of the border crossing depends on bringing the management under the Palestinian Authority’s control.

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