Egypt opens Rafah border crossing

June 27, 2009 at 5:44 PM
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RAFAH, Gaza, June 27 (UPI) -- Saturdays opening of the Rafah border crossing allowed about 5,000 Palestinians to travel from Gaza into Egypt for food and other supplies, Hamas officials say.

The heavy line of people and vehicles crossing the border also included ambulances carrying patients from Gaza into Egypt for medical treatment.

Egypt plans to leave the border crossing open for three days, Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh told The Jerusalem Post. Egypt has opened the crossing just several times since Hamas gained control of Gaza two years ago.

"We still believe that closing the (crossing) was a mistake from both an international and pan-Arab perspective because the suffering of Gaza residents is extreme -- words cannot describe it," Haniyeh said.

The future of the Rafah crossing is to be discussed in Cairo next month when Hamas and Fatah officials meet to discuss a reconciliation of the rival Palestinian factions, Haniyeh said.

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