Rafah crossing : Egypt opens Gaza border for first time since unity deal

Rafah crossing
Egypt opened its largely sealed border with Gaza Saturday for the first time since a reconciliation agreement saw the Palestinian Authority take control of the crossing from Hamas.

A Palestinian official at the Rafah crossing said it had opened at 0700 GMT and was expected to stay open for three days.

"Egypt will open the crossing for humanitarian cases registered with the interior ministry," the official said, adding that civilian and security personnel on the Palestinian side were all employees of the reconciliation government headed by Rami Hamdallah.

Up to 20,000 people from Gaza have applied to enter Egypt during the brief reopening.

Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip had been totally sealed since August, and was largely closed for years before that.

Under the terms of a Palestinian reconciliation agreement reached last month, Gaza's rulers Hamas are supposed to cede civil power to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority by December 1.

As a first step, they handed over control of its border crossings on November 1.
 [dailystar.com.lb/AFP]
 18/11/17
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