Egypt reopens Gaza border crossing

Egypt will reopen its border crossing with the blockaded Gaza Strip at the end of the Islamic Eid holiday period, security sources said on Sunday.

The Rafah crossing in the Sinai peninsula will be open in both directions to Palestinians holding appropriate paperwork as of Monday.

Egypt closed the border last Friday for the three day Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Egypt had opened the border in June for what was said at the time to be an “unlimited” period following the killing of nine Turkish activists aboard a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in late May.

Prior to the Eid closure, the crossing had been open for the longest period in the history of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza, which was tightened after the Islamist Hamas movement took control of the enclave in 2007.

Many Palestinians, however, said they were unable to use the crossing during this period, under the pretext that they did not have valid reasons for entering or leaving Gaza.

The blockade on Gaza's more than 1.5 million Palestinians has been condemned as a humanitarian disaster and a “flagrant violation of international law” by the rights group Amnesty International.

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