Egypt partially reopens Rafah border crossing with Gaza

Egypt partially reopens Rafah border crossing with Gaza

Egypt allows one-way traffic as Israel eases import restrictions for the besieged territory it has blockaded since 2007.

Egypt says it has partially reopened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, allowing one-way travel into the besieged Palestinian enclave as Israel lowers import restrictions on the territory it has blockaded since 2007.
Egypt closed Rafah, Gaza’s only non-Israeli entry to the outside world, on Monday, citing no cause.
However, it occurred after Gazans staged a protest near Israel’s separation fence with Gaza on Saturday, which killed one Palestinian, injured dozens more, and left an Israeli soldier in serious condition following a gunshot wound.
The partial reopening of the border on Thursday comes a day after Hamas’ interior ministry said that Cairo would approve the flow of products into the region. On Sunday, it was announced that two-way traffic would be available.After lunchtime, people have started to cross, according to an AFP journalist.
Egypt, a key mediator between Israel and Hamas, which governs the coastal enclave, has previously used Rafah closures as a punitive measure against the group.
Twenty Palestinians were injured in border protests and riots in southern Gaza on Wednesday, following clashes with Israeli troops, but the violence was less serious than on Saturday.Hamas police made efforts to contain Wednesday’s unrest by preventing people from approaching the border fence.

The Israeli military branch responsible for civil affairs in Palestinian territories (COGAT) said more goods would be allowed to enter Gaza from Thursday
It claimed in a statement that they will contain “equipment for international civilian projects” and new vehicles, among other things.
Israel also agreed to boost by 1,000 the number of merchants allowed through its Erez crossing to Gaza.
“The political echelon’s approval of civilian measures is conditional on the region’s security stability remaining stable, while further expansion of these measures will be assessed in light of a situational security assessment,” COGAT noted.

Israel has hit Hamas targets in Gaza with air raids twice in the last week, with no casualties reported.

Thursday marks three months since an Egypt-brokered ceasefire ended 11 days of conflict between Hamas and Israel, the worst fighting between the two sides in years.

According to Hamas, Israeli air strikes killed 260 Palestinians throughout the battle.

According to the military and police, Palestinian organizations fired thousands of rockets at Israel during the conflict, killing 13 people.


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