Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing Sunday

By Ola Attalah, Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Rafah crossing, Gaza's only access to the outside world, has remained closed for the last 43 days

The Rafah crossing, Gaza's only access to the outside world, has remained closed for the last 43 days

GAZA CITY – Egypt will exceptionally reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Sunday for two days to allow Palestinian pilgrims to cross, Gaza's Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

Egypt will reopen the crossing to allow pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia and let returning pilgrims into the Palestinian territory, Maher Abu Sabha, the head of Gaza's crossings and border authority, told Anadolu Agency.

Egyptian authorities, however, have not said whether they would allow Palestinian patients and humanitarian cases to cross, he added.

The Rafah crossing, Gaza's only access to the outside world, has remained closed for the last 43 days, according to Abu Sabha, whose authority is an affiliate of the Interior Ministry in Gaza.

Egypt has tightened its grip on the border with Gaza since last July's ouster of Mohamed Morsi – the country's first freely elected president – by the army.

Egyptian authorities accuse Hamas of interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs and carrying out attacks inside the country, charges that Hamas has repeatedly denied.

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