Egypt temporarily reopens Rafah border crossing

Hamas said on Wednesday that Egypt had temporarily reopened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, reports The Associated Press.

The opening of Rafah, Gaza's main gateway to the outside world, is seen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts next week.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, says more than 15,000 Gazans have applied to leave the coastal enclave, but only a few hundred can cross per day. Hamas says the crossing will remain open for four days.

Last month, Egypt reopened Rafah for two days.

Egyptian authorities have kept the crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times since that specific attack.

Sources in Egypt have revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal October 2014 attack, which killed 30 soldiers, through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.

After that attack, Egypt began creating a wide buffer zone along the Gaza border, in a bid to destroy the hundreds of smuggling tunnels Cairo says are used by Palestinian Arabs to deliver weapons to jihadists in the Sinai.

The Gaza-based Hamas government has been trying to make amends with Egypt, and a delegation headed by Hamas political bureau member Mousa Abu Marzook recently held talks in Egypt  aimed at normalizing the relations.

Following the visit, reports emerged that Hamas agreed to Egypt’s demands, namely that it would not interfere in Egyptian affairs, and will supervise and control the borders with Gaza, while fighting all extremists in Gaza and stopping them from infiltrating Egypt.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/213140

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