RAFAH: Egypt reopened its Rafah border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Wednesday for two days to enable students and the sick to cross, a security official told AFP.
The border has opened for two days to allow the passage of Palestinian students and the sick who are stuck on the Egyptian side, the border official said, asking not to be named.
Border official Ghazi Hamad says more than 40 trucks carrying medicine and mineral water have crossed into Gaza so far. He says 120 Palestinians who were stranded in Egypt were also able to cross. The border will remain open until Thursday.
About 350 Palestinian patients were also to cross from Gaza into Egypt Wednesday for treatment.
The Rafah crossing is the only one that bypasses Israel but has been largely closed since June 2007, following Israel’s decision to impose a blockade on the Strip after Hamas took it over.
Since then, Israel has tightened its blockade on the impoverished enclave where most of the 1.4 million inhabitants survive on foreign aid.
Palestinian patients who finished their treatment at Egyptian hospitals and other humanitarian cases will be allowed to return back home, Egypt s official MENA news agency quoted Palestinian embassy official Mohammed Arafat as saying on Monday.
Foreign passport holders, students studying outside the Palestinian territories and humanitarian cases will also cross into Egypt, Arafat said.
Egypt opens the crossing periodically to allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza, where more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed in a three-week Israeli onslaught in December and January.
The Rafah crossing was last opened for two days on Feb. 22. -Agencies