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Rafah crossing to open Saturday

Aug. 19, 2011 10:38 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 21, 2011 3:31 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt will reopen on Saturday, Hamas officials at the terminal said Friday.

Egyptian authorities had closed the crossing on Thursday amid a sharp rise in violence as Israel launched airstrikes on Rafah in response to a deadly attack in southern Israel.

Ayyoub Abu Shaar, Gaza director of the crossing, said the terminal would be open Saturday for students, foreign nationals and patients needing medical treatment abroad who registered to travel on August 9.

He instructed travelers to proceed to the Abu Yousef An-Najjer hall in Khan Younis at 7 a.m.

The southern terminal, which is the only entry and exit point from the Gaza Strip not controlled by Israel, was opened to travelers in May 2011.

Egyptian and Gazan authorities have struggled to cope with huge demand and coordinating procedures, leading to travel delays.

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