Egypt to open Rafah border crossing for three days

Sept. 25, 2013 at 7:14 AM
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CAIRO, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Egypt will open the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip for three days, Barakat al-Farra, the Palestinian ambassador in Cairo said.

Farra, who has been working with the Egyptian authorities to re-open the crossing shut by Egypt Aug.15 for security reasons, said the border crossing would be opened for three days starting Saturday, the Middle East News Agency reported Wednesday.

Farra said only students and "those with essential and humanitarian needs" will be able to use the crossing during those three days.

Following the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and the unrest that spread throughout the country, Egyptian authorities ordered the Rafah crossing shut down.

Tensions have risen between Egypt and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip since Morsi's July 3 ouster due to the involvement of Hamas affiliated operatives in terrorist activities in the Sinai Peninsula.

Last week, Egyptian military spokesman Ahmed Ali told reporters soldiers had confiscated weapons in the northern Sinai that belonged to Hamas' military wing Ezzadin al-Qassam Brigades. Ali said at the time there is "cooperation between the armed terrorist organizations [in the Sinai] and their counterparts in the Gaza Strip," MENA quoted him saying.

Rafah is the only border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip that is not controlled by Israel.

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