Egypt to open Rafah crossing for four days to Gaza

Egypt will open Rafah border crossing, Gaza Strip's only access to outside world which is not under Israeli control, in both directions from August 17 to 20

Updated Aug 17, 2015

The Egyptian State news agency cited officials saying that Egyptian authorities will open Gaza's Rafah border for crossing on both sides over a four day period starting on Monday.

The Palestinian border official Khaled al Shaer said on Saturday according to Anadolu Agency that Egyptian authorities had informed their Palestinian counterparts about opening the Rafah crossing to passengers – in both directions – for a four-day period starting from August 17 to 20.

“The border will be opened for students, medical patients and those carrying foreign residence permits and foreign passports,” al Shaer said.

The Rafah crossing will also be opened for a three-day period starting from September 7 in order to allow Palestinians into the Gaza Strip to perform Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, according to Egyptian authorities.

Rafah’s border crossing is the only opening gate of1.8 million Palestinians to the world. Aside from the Rafah border crossing, six out of seven border gates of Gaza have been blocked under the control of Israel since 2006. 

The Gaza Strip has seen the worst casualties since 2009 in terms of people dying due to dire humanitarian situation caused by the blockade imposed by Egypt and Israel, and since the beginning of 2015 the crossing has been open for only five days total.

The Rafah border crossing is the main road linking the Egyptian border town of Rafah to the Palestinian Gaza strip. It has been mostly closed since the overthrown of  President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Egyptian authorities have confirmed that the Rafah crossing will be opened for humanitarian purposes in the future.


TRTWorld and agencies