Egypt has decided on Sunday to open the main gate of the Rafah border crossing for three days, until Wednesday, so that buses carrying patients and students from Gaza could move to Egypt.
According to state-run news agency MENA, the border crossing will be opened in order to transfer Palestinian patients, students, and carriers of foreign stay permits to Egypt.
Egyptian authorities have, for the most part, kept the Rafah border crossing closed since July 2013. They had launched a campaign to destroy illegal underground tunnels, which have been vital in supplying Gaza residents with food, medicine, fuel, and building materials.
Prior to 2013, Hamas had strong ties with Egypt as it had good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt. However, the relationship grew tense following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.
The border was then permanently closed on 24 October 2014, following attacks on the Qarm Al-Qawadis checkpoint by the militant group “Sinai Province.” The attack resulted in the deaths of at least 33 military personnel. Since then, the crossing has been opened only in exceptional cases and for short periods of time.