Egypt reopens Rafah crossing

Gaza, Oct 15 (IANS) Egyptian authorities on Thursday reopened the Rafah border crossing point with the Gaza Strip to enable stranded travellers on the Egyptian side to return home

The crossing will only remain open for one day and in one direction, from Egypt to Gaza, the Gaza interior ministry said.

Rafah crossing has been closed in both directions for more than 55 days, except for opening in September for pilgrims headed to Saudi Arabia for haj pilgrimage, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bozom has urged permanent opening of Rafah crossing point.

Opening it for one day and in one direction only and keeping it closed for two months “can never be enough”, he said in a statement.

“This doesn’t meet the urgent needs of the populations,” said al-Bozom, adding: “The Egyptian authorities are demanded to keep the crossing permanently reopened in two ways to enable thousands of people to travel.”

Keeping Rafah crossing closed “is harming the future of the students and endangering the lives of hundreds of patients who need to travel for badly needed medical treatment”, he said.

Rafah crossing point is the only gateway to the outside world for Gaza Strip residents after Israel imposed a tight blockade on the coastal enclave in 2007.

Egypt closed the crossing after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

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