Egypt Reopens Rafah Crossing Into Gaza, Restrictions Still Apply

Egypt on Wednesday announced that they are ending their blockade of the Gaza border crossing into the Hamas-ruled territory of Palestine. The move will give access to the area for more than 1.4 million Palestinians who had been isolated from the area since the blockade was put in place, however it will also place tense relations on the countries dealings with Israel which insists on carefully monitoring the passing for security purposes.

Speaking about the border opening Ambassador Menha Bakhoum, head of media and public diplomacy for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said:

“The Egyptian government decided to open the Rafah border to (give) relief (to) the people of Gaza permanently.”

The Rafah crossing will reopen on Saturday providing Palestinians with their first open border in four years. The border was closed in 2007 when Hamas entered the Gaza Strip.

Under border crossing rules Palestinians with valid passports will be able to cross into Egypt everyday but Friday’s and Holiday’s from 9am to 9pm. Entry into Gaza however will be met with harsh restrictions meant to monitor for weapons and militant activities attempting to enter into the area.

Under current conditions only people seeking medical attention or studying in Egypt could cross through Rafah or those Palestinians listed in the Israeli-controlled population registry.