Egypt opens Rafah crossing after 12 days of closure
Published Tuesday 21/01/2014 (updated) 21/01/2014 13:58
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was opened on Tuesday after 12 consecutive days of closure, according to Palestinian officials.
Officials of the Palestinian crossings department confirmed in a statement that the crossing was open on Tuesday morning and a first bus had already crossed into the Egyptian side of the terminal.
Egyptian authorities had decided to open the terminal for three days beginning on Tuesday.
The statement highlighted that the Egyptians would give priority to patients, holders of foreign citizenship and Egyptian citizens.
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.
There have been frequent closures of the Rafah terminal in recent months due to political unrest in Egypt and violence in the Sinai peninsula.
Since the July ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, 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.