Egypt opens Rafah crossing border for 2 days
A Palestinian youth sits with his family's luggage as they wait to cross to the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Egypt has opened its borders with the Gaza Strip for the first time in months on Saturday and will operate for three days, allowing Palestinians to travel in both directions. Maher Abu Sabha, head of Gaza's crossing, says 15,000 people have applied to exit. Rafah is Gaza's only gateway to the outside world with no Israeli control. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
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CAIRO: Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was opened Saturday to allow travelers in both directions for two days, Youm7 reported.

An official source at the border told Youm7 that a number of buses carrying Palestinians coming from Gaza crossed the border to the Egyptian side. The source added that the halls at the border were prepared to “allow the largest number of travelers.”

Coordination between the Egyptian and Palestinian sides is ongoing to facilitate the trips in both directions during the two days, the source said.

Security measures inside and outside the border were heightened, and forces were deployed to secure the road between Rafah Arish cities for travelers.

The state news agency MENA reported Thursday that the decision to re-open the border for the first time in three months was ordered by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

The crossing has been re-operated exceptionally several times to facilitate the return of the Palestinian people. On Dec. 3, the crossing was reopened from the Palestine side and more than 2,000 passengers crossed.

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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