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Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days

June 10, 2015 1:14 P.M. (Updated: June 10, 2015 10:58 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for three days next week, a Palestinian Authority official said Wednesday.

Nathmi Muhanna, general director of border crossings, told Ma'an that Egypt notified his department that the terminal will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in both directions.

Priority will be given to Palestinians with foreign passports, students and patients seeking medical treatment.

Use of the crossing will be based on lists of travelers already registered with Gaza' Ministry of Interior.

Egyptian authorities have done little to alleviate Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip, keeping the Rafah crossing -- Gaza's only connection to the outside world -- virtually sealed since October 2014.

Egypt is also working on a buffer zone between the Gaza Strip, with thousands of Egyptians along the border already evacuated to make way for the no-go area of land.

In late May,1,629 Palestiniansused the crossing after Egypt opened it for three days.

Some 15,000 people are registered with the Gaza Ministry of Interior to travel via the Rafah crossing, 3,000 of them are ill, and over 2,500 are students.

The number registered is a fraction of the 1.8 million residents who have remained under a Israeli-imposed blockade since 2007.
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