Monday, October 17, 2016

Egypt temporarily reopens border crossing with Gaza

Egypt announced it temporarily reopened the Rafah crossing for two days to allow Palestinians to enter or leave the Gaza Strip, and plans to do so a second time later this week.

The Egyptian government reopened the Rafah crossing on the south side of the Gaza Strip to allow students, people with work permits and humanitarian cases to enter or leave for two days and will do so for four more days later this week.

Following Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's rise to power, the crossing was closed in 2013 amid concerns the ruling Palestinian political party, Hamas, is an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization by Egyptian officials in 2013.

The crossing has opened several times in the last few years for a few days at a time, however, with the most recent coming in August when Palestinians looking to travel to Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca were permitted through.

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