Gaza gateway temporarily reopens to humanitarian cases

Daily Star Egypt Staff
2 Min Read

GAZA CITY: The Gaza Strip s sole gateway to the world that bypasses Israel, its border with Egypt, temporarily reopened Thursday to allow people to cross on a humanitarian basis, an EU spokeswoman said. The Rafah passenger terminal, which has been closed since the Israeli soldier crisis broke out on June 25, was to stay open from 10:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT) until 2:00 p.m., the source said. Around 250 people considered humanitarian cases and stranded on the Egyptian side of the terminal would be allowed to cross into the Gaza Strip during the day, the spokeswoman said. A Palestinian official at the Rafah border said those being allowed to cross were principally the sick, the elderly, women and children. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP that the reopening of the terminal for a specific period followed an agreement with Israel and the Europeans. The European Union has deployed observers at Rafah, at the request of the Palestinian Authority and Israel, to monitor agreements on border traffic. The border reopened last November, two months after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip following a 38-year occupation, under an Israeli-Palestinian agreement brokered by the United States and allowing for EU monitors. The terminal, however, has been closed since June 25 when Palestinian militants attacked an Israeli army post near the Gaza border, killing two soldiers and abducting another to spark the worst Middle East crisis in months. AFP

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