Cairo, 1 DzulQa’dah 1436/16 August 2015 (MINA) – Egyptian authorities announced on Saturday that it will open the Rafah crossing into and out of the Gaza Strip from Sunday to Thursday.
The official confirmed that the administration at the Egyptian side of the border terminal had been notified of the decision and authorities have announced a state of alert and prepared all their departments for the opening.
The Palestinian Embassy in Cairo announced in a statement on Saturday that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas asked the Egyptian authorities to open the crossing so as to ease part of the suffering of “our people in the Gaza Strip.”, Maan News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting
Last week the Hamas-run Ministry of the Interior in Gaza also requested the opening in an urgent appeal to the Egyptian authorities, asking that humanitarian cases be permitted to exit the besieged coastal enclave.
Iyad al-Buzm, a spokesperson for the ministry, said in a statement last week that conditions in Gaza represent a “humanitarian catastrophe,” with up to 20,000 humanitarian cases and thousands of other Palestinians waiting to leave the territory.
The Rafah crossing is the primary lifeline to the outside world for Gaza’s 1.8 million residents, but has been severely restricted by the Egyptian authorities in the past year, largely due to a militant insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
The Egyptian government has in the past accused Hamas of assisting the insurgency, although Hamas denies the allegations.
Egypt has done little to alleviate Israel’s eight-year blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has severely restricted imports and exports into the territory and denied Gazans freedom of movement. (T/P010/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)