Egypt opens border gate to allow stranded Gazans to cross

July 10, 2013 12:26

GAZA - Egypt opened its crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for several hours to allow stranded Palestinians to return to the enclave and for others to leave after five days of closure.

The Rafah crossing is the only gateway to the world for the 1.7 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which is governed by the Islamist Hamas group, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Egyptian authorities ordered the passage closed last Friday after Morsi was removed and amid widescale protests in Egypt.

Ghazi Hamad, Hamas's deputy foreign minister, said the crossing would remain open for a few hours on Wednesday so Palestinians could return and so foreigners, patients due to receive medical treatment in Cairo and Palestinians with residency permits in third countries could leave the Gaza Strip.

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