Ambassador: Egypt to open Rafah crossing for three days
Published Monday 23/12/2013 (updated) 28/12/2013 11:21
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip for three days starting Tuesday, the Ambassador of Palestine to Egypt Barakat al-Farra said Monday.
Al-Farra told a Ma'an reporter in Egypt that the decision followed intensive contacts the Embassy of Palestine had with "high-profile" Egyptian officials.
The Gaza Strip Ministry of Interior confirmed in a statement that the crossing would be open Tuesday to Thursday evening. The ministry decided to give priority on Tuesday to passengers who had previously registered to leave at its offices in November.
The statement highlighted that the ministry was starting a new registration process for those who need to travel during the coming three days. A list of 5000 thousand people have already been prepared, according to the statement.
There have been frequent closures of the Rafah terminal in recent months due to political unrest in Egypt and violence in the Sinai peninsula.
After president Muhammad Morsi has been deposed in July, Egypt's army has repeatedly closed the Rafah border crossing and destroyed hundreds of tunnels that Gazans used for years to import fuel, building materials and other goods.
The Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza's 1.7 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by the State of Israel beginning in 2007. The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.