The main border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt reopened Sunday for 48 hours to allow humanitarian crossings, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.
Israel closed the Rafah terminal shortly before withdrawing from the Gaza Strip last month on security grounds. Thousands of people crossed the border during several days of chaos following the withdrawal, but the area has been virtually sealed since order was restored.
The Palestinians say reopening the border is essential for Gaza's economy, and have been pushing Israel and Egypt to work out a new arrangement.
During the current two-day period, Palestinians in need of medical care will be allowed to cross into Egypt, and Palestinians who traveled to Saudi Arabia for religious observances during the current Ramadan holy month and people otherwise stranded in Egypt would be permitted back in.
Palestinian officials said they expected about 6,000 people to return to Gaza.