The Egyptian authorities decided Monday to re-open the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip to allow people on both sides to move in and out of Gaza, according to state media. The border crossing was closed for three days, during Egypt’s official holiday after being opened for about seven weeks.
An Egyptian official said that Egyptian and Palestinian vehicles are prepared to transfer people from both sides. On 17 May, the Egyptian authorities announced opening the Rafah border crossing during the holy month of Ramadan, but the crossing was then closed since 29 June due to Egypt’s 30 June holiday.
The administration of the Rafah border crossing has been transferred to the Palestinian National Authority since November 2017, according to an agreement between the authority and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian side had closed the Rafah border crossing due to security concerns in the Sinai Peninsula since July 2013, but has occasionally re-opened the crossing to allow Palestinians to travel to and from Gaza, especially for medical purposes. The Egyptian authorities had launched a campaign to destroy illegal underground tunnels, which have been vital in supplying Gaza residents with food, medicine, fuel, and building materials.
A state of emergency has been imposed in North Sinai, along with curfew hours in the cities of Rafah and Al-Arish, following an attack in 2014.