Photo: AFP/Maan News Agency
Photo: AFP/Maan News Agency

Gaza, 9 Sya’ban 1436/27 May 2015 (MINA) – Egypt reopened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza for two days from Tuesday, Palestinian border officials said, for the first time since March.

Maher Abu Sabha, director of border crossings in the Gaza Strip, said traffic was permitted into Gaza only, to allow the return of Palestinians stranded in Egypt.

“I traveled on March 10 for eye treatment for my son, but we got stuck,” Ahmed Al-Hato told AFP, Maan News Agency reports as quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).

“I just needed seven days, but they closed the crossing,” he said.

Egypt closed the crossing, the only access point to the Gaza Strip not controlled by Israel, after a bombing in the Sinai Peninsula in October killed 30 of its soldiers.

Frequent closure of the Rafah crossing is one of several measures taken by Egyptian authorities who alledge that Hamas is supporting an Islamist insurgency pitched against the Egyptian government in the northern Sinai, allegations Hamas has denied.

Last October’s attack also led to a state of emergency and curfew being imposed in some parts of North Sinai, and the Egyptian army has created a wide buffer zone along the border with Gaza aimed at preventing infiltration by militants.

Despite these measures, on January 29 another 30 people were killed when rockets and a car bomb targeted a military base and other security posts in North Sinai, and other attacks have been carried out on a near weekly basis in recent months.

Most attacks have been claimed by militant movement Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an affiliate to the Islamic State group. (T/P010/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)