Gaza's border with Egypt reopens

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RAFAH: The Rafah border terminal between Egypt and Gaza, the Palestinian territory s only gateway to the world that bypasses Israel, has been reopened for two days, officials said Wednesday. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the border to reopen on Wednesday and Thursday, his office said, owing to the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began last week and continues until late October. Today it will be open from 8:00 a.m. (06:00 GMT) to 4:00 p.m., Maria Telleria, spokeswoman for EU monitors deployed at the border, told AFP, but said she had no confirmation yet about whether the terminal would also open Thursday. Mostly pilgrims and sick people, humanitarian cases, will be allowed to cross, she added. The vital terminal, whose operation is dictated by the Israelis on security grounds, had been closed almost continuously for three months but was two weeks ago also opened for two days ahead of the start of Ramadan. Since late June, when militants from Gaza killed two Israeli soldiers and seized a third in a cross-border raid, the crossing has been open for a total of only about seven days, leaving thousands of people stranded on either side. The European Union has deployed observers at Rafah, at the request of the Palestinian Authority and Israel, to monitor agreements on border traffic.

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