Egypt reopens Rafah crossing for four days

Exclusive to The Middle East Online

Edited by Nelly Tawil

Wednesday saw Egypt reopen its border with the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip –in both directions – for the second time in a month to “humanitarian cases” and Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of the crossing.

The Rafah crossing will be open for four non-consecutive days according to Gaza’s border authority, during which students enrolled in universities overseas, medical patients and Palestinians holding foreign residencies will be allowed to cross the border.

The crossing will be opened on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, June 1, 2, 4 and 5 respectively according to Egyptian state television, which announced the development late Tuesday.

Egypt has kept its border with the Gaza Strip strictly closed since Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood was ousted as president three years ago.

Egypt’s shuttering of Rafah and destruction of cross-border smuggling tunnels, along with tight restrictions imposed by Israel along its own frontier with Gaza have deepened economic misery for the 1.9 million Palestinians living in the enclave.