Egypt Opens Gaza Border for Four Days
Egypt opened its largely sealed border with Gaza on Saturday for only the second time since the Palestinian Authority took control of the crossing from the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas, Times of Israel reports.
The Hamas-run interior ministry, which was organising departures from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis, said the crossing would stay open for four days but, in the Egypt direction, for humanitarian cases only. Those include people needing medical treatment unavailable in Gaza as well as students enrolled at Egyptian universities and Gazans with jobs abroad.
The source reminds that Rafah is Gaza's only border crossing not controlled by Israel.
Hamas handed control of the Gaza side to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority on Nov 1 as the first part of an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal designed to end a bitter decade-long split. That was supposed to have been followed by the handover of full civil control in Gaza by Dec 1.
But the target date was missed amid differences over the future of tens of thousands of civil servants recruited by Hamas since it seized control of the territory in 2007. Both Israel and Egypt have maintained blockades of Gaza for years, arguing that they are necessary to isolate Hamas.
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