EGYPT OPENS RAFAH CROSSING FOR 2 DAYS, SAYS GAZA INTERIOR MINISTRY

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing into the Gaza Strip Wednesday for two days, said Gaza’s Interior Ministry’s Borders and Crossings Commission.

A ministry source said that Egyptian authorities requested priority be given to owners of Egyptian passports.

The source informed Xinhua that the first two buses will transport Egyptian citizens according to ministerial records and humanitarian cases.

The Borders and Crossings Commission announced two days ago that the Rafah crossing will be opened on Wednesday and Thursday.

The last time the crossing was opened was on Feb 13 for three days.

Deputy Minister of the Gazan Interior Ministry, Kamel Abu Madi, in a press release criticized the opening of the crossing for only two days as it “does not resolve the deteriorating humanitarian crisis” of the Gaza Strip.

According to Abu Madi, over 30,000 people registered to travel at the ministry.

He called on Egyptian authorities to immediately open the crossing and permanently keep it open since it represents the “lungs through which the Gaza Strip breathes.”

The Gazan Interior Ministry announced two weeks ago its plan to deploy 500 extra security men along the borders with Egypt, and increasing military posts along the border from 20 to 60 posts.

A high ranking delegation from the Islamic Hamas movement controlling the Gaza Strip since 2007 visited Cairo in April in order to normalize bilateral relations.

Ties between Hamas and Egyptian leaders fluctuated in 2013, following the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi as well as Egypt’s accusation regarding Hamas’s interference in its internal affairs.

Ever since the internal split between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, Egypt has sponsored the reconciliation dialogue between both sides.

It also successfully brokered a prisoner swap deal between Palestinians and Israelis in addition to three ceasefire agreements since 2008.

Source: Nam News Network