Egypt opens Rafah border crossing for two days

Saturday 13-02-2016 05:25 PM

CAIRO, Feb 13 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Saturday in both directions and is set to keep the Gaza Strip's main entry and exit point open throughout Sunday.

The crossing was opened for people stuck on either side of the border and humanitarian cases, Egypt's state news agency MENA said. 

The Rafah border crossing, which connects residents of the Gaza Strip to Egypt and the rest of the world has been mostly closed since October 2014 when a militant attack in North Sinai left over 30 Egyptian security personnel dead. 

Since the deadly attack in Sinai, the border crossing was only opened partially for 39 days, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report for the period between Feb. 2 - 8. The last time the border was opened was in early December for two days. 

"Authorities in Gaza indicated that over 25,000 people with urgent needs, including around 3,500 medical cases, are registered and waiting to cross," the report said.  

Citing Gaza's Interior Ministry, Palestinian Ma'an news agency said that about 765 Palestinian were approved to travel on Saturday. 

Gaza's area is around 360 square kilometres and is home to 1.8 million people, making the enclave among the world's most densely populated areas.

Having been under seige for the past eight years, economic and living conditions inside the Strip are dire.

In May 2015, the World Bank said, "blockades, war and poor governance have strangled Gaza's economy and the unemployment rate is now the highest in the world," adding that the enclave's economy is on the "verge of collapse". 

The difficult living conditions in the enclave were worsened after destruction caused by 50 days of Israeli military operations in the summer of 2014. 

facebook comments