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Rafah crossing to open for 5 days, officials say

Oct. 7, 2013 5:42 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 8, 2013 11:11 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing with Gaza on Tuesday until late Sunday, Egyptian officials said.

The Rafah crossing was opened on Monday to allow Palestinian pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.

There have been frequent closures of the Rafah terminal in recent weeks due to political unrest in Egypt and violence in the Sinai peninsula.

After the July coup, which deposed president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's army has repeatedly closed the Rafah border crossing and destroyed hundreds of tunnels that Gazans used for years to import fuel, building materials and other goods.

The Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza's 1.8 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by the State of Israel beginning in 2007.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.

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