Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing for Gaza pilgrims Sunday
By Ola Attalah, Saturday, April 19, 2014
GAZA CITY – Egyptian authorities will exceptionally reopen the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip on Sunday for two days to allow Palestinian pilgrims to cross, the Gaza government said on Saturday.
"Egyptian authorities will reopen the Rafah crossing for two consecutive days to allow a 7th group of pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia and those returning to cross into Gaza," Maher Abu Sabha, the head of the crossings authority, an affiliate of the Interior Ministry, told Anadolu Agency.
He, however, said the Egyptian authorities did not clarify whether they would allow stranded patients and humanitarian cases to cross the terminal.
Abu Sabha said that Egyptian authorities have prevented patients and humanitarian cases from crossing the terminal for 18 days now.
There was no comment from Egyptian authorities.
Gazans complain that frequent border closures by Egypt, in conjunction with an eight-year-old Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave, have contributed to the strip's worsening economic and humanitarian conditions.
Egypt has tightened its grip on its border with Gaza since last July, when the army ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president.
Egyptian authorities accuse Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007, of interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs and carrying out attacks inside the country – charges Hamas emphatically denies.
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