Rafah border crossing opened until Thursday ahead of Hajj

Daily News Egypt
1 Min Read
Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on March 29, 2014. The Gaza Strip's land border with Egypt reopened after a 50-day closure, but only for three days and then just for special cases, its Islamist rulers Hamas said. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Monday to allow Palestinian pilgrims to cross to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj season.

The crossing is expected to remain open until Thursday.

A first group of nearly 800 people has reportedly crossed from the Gaza strip, as local media reported that more than 6,000 are expected to cross.

Egypt occasionally opens the crossing but has kept it closed for the most part amid continuous militant attacks in North Sinai and ongoing police and army anti-militant operations.

An emergency state has been imposed in North Sinai and curfew hours in the cities of Rafah and Al-Arish following an attack in 2014. The Egyptian army has evacuated the border with Gaza and destroyed underground tunnels in an attempt to limit resources for terror groups.

Several Hamas delegations have been meeting in Egypt with intelligence service officials to enhance relations with Egypt, in light of the group being previously designated as a terrorist group by and Egyptian court after the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi who was charged with conspiring with Hamas.

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