Egypt says it intends to open Gaza border permanently

May 1, 2011 23:20

CAIRO - Egypt intends to open its border with Gaza permanently to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians under an Israeli blockade but the mechanics of such a step are still being worked out, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

The initiative suggests a further policy shift since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, whose government cooperated with Israel in enforcing a blockade on the Gaza Strip which is controlled by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Under Mubarak, Egypt only sporadically opened up the border for food and medicine, or to let through people, mainly those seeking medical treatment or traveling to study from the area of about 1.5 million Palestinians.

That system has broadly stayed in place since Mubarak was pushed out on Feb. 11.

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