Egypt keeps Rafah border crossing open for one extra day

Egyptian authorities open Rafah border linking the country’s Sinai peninsula with the Gaza strip for an extra day following end of two-day free passage

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Egypt opened its Rafah crossing on Tuesday for two days, allowing stranded Palestinians to cross into Gaza for the first time since March. Egyptian authorities however decided not to close the border on Wednesday and extended the opening period until the end of Thursday.

The extension comes in light of the dire need for humanitarian aid to be delivered to the blockaded Gaza strip.

Over 600 Palestinian civilians have successfully entered the Gaza strip since Tuesday.

Egypt closed the border in October after a bomb in the Sinai peninsula killed 30 Egyptian soldiers. The Egyptian government considers Hamas an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood, which it has classified as an extremist group following the coup against deposed President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Brotherhood. Hamas has been in control of Gaza since 2007

The Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip said in an earlier statement that the Rafah crossing has seen the worst casualties in Gaza since 2009, and since the beginning of 2015 the crossing has been open for only five days in total.

Through the Rafah border crossing passes the main road linking the Egyptian border town of Rafah to the Palestinian Gaza strip. Egyptian authorities have confirmed that the Rafah crossing is open for humanitarian cases.

TRTWorld and agencies