The Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt will be opened to Palestinians to return to Palestinian territories between 17 and20 August, according to a Palestinian Embassy in Egypt statement.
The border will be opened from both sides. The embassy statement said that the opening comes after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas requested that the Egyptian government “help ease the suffering of the Palestinian people”.
The Gaza Strip, including the Rafah border crossing, has been under Hamas control since 2007. Relations between Egypt and Hamas remain tense, as in late February, a court ruling defined Hamas as a “terrorist group”, and its military wing Al-Qassam Brigades was also defined as a “terrorist” entity a month earlier.
However, the court withdrew the Hamas related case. Pro-government forces usually accuse Hamas of assisting Egyptian militants in operations in Sinai against the Egyptian army and police.
The Rafah crossing is the only official border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Throughout the war between Israel and Hamas during the summer of 2014, the border was closed. However, Egyptian authorities occasionally reopened it for a few days at a time during that period.