Egypt to open Rafah border crossing for 4 days - embassy

Tuesday 31-05-2016 07:35 PM

An Egyptian soldier stands guard at a checkpoint in Rafah city on the Egyptian border, August 6, 2012. Islamist gunmen killed at least 15 Egyptian police on Sunday and seized two military vehicles to attack a crossing point into Israel, the deadliest incid

CAIRO, May 31 (Aswat Masriya) – Egyptian authorities are set to open the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza strip for four days in both directions, the Palestinian embassy in Egypt said on Tuesday.

The crossing will be opened on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, the embassy added in a statement.

The Rafah border crossing, which connects the residents of the besieged Gaza strip with Egypt and the rest of the world, was last opened earlier in May for two days at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

This is the third time for the border to be opened in 2016.

The crossing was largely closed after a large-scale militant attack on the Karm al-Qawadis checkpoint in October 2014 in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula , which borders Gaza. The attack left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.

Gaza's area is around 360 square kilometers and is home to more than 1.76 million people, making the enclave among the world's most densely-populated areas.

The strip has been under a land, air and sea blockade enforced by Israel since 2007, after the Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement (Hamas) won the Palestinian legislative election and took control of the strip.

Cairo-Hamas ties have been strained since the military ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, after mass protests against his rule. The Palestinian movement was a strong ally of Mursi's regime.

Mursi's ouster was followed by a rise in militancy, especially in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian authorities frequently linked the Palestinian movement to the rise of insurgency in Sinai but Hamas has repeatedly denied such accusations.

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