Egypt allows in travelers from Gaza for first time since October

By REUTERS
December 21, 2014 12:38

GAZA - Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Sunday for incoming passengers from the Gaza Strip for the first time in almost two months, Palestinian and Egyptian officials said.

Rafah is the only major crossing between impoverished Gaza, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, and the outside world that does not border Israel, which blockades the strip and allows passage mainly on humanitarian grounds.

Egypt shut the crossing on October 25 after Islamist militants in Egypt's adjacent Sinai region killed 33 members of its security forces in some of the worst anti-state violence since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was toppled in July 2013.

Since then, Cairo has opened the crossing only twice to allow thousands of Palestinians stranded in Egypt and beyond to return to Gaza, which is dominated by the Islamist Hamas faction.

Hamas has long had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was ousted from power in Egypt when Morsi was overthrown, but its relations with the current Egyptian government are tense.


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