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Egypt opens Rafah crossing for three days

June 1, 2014 1:58 P.M. (Updated: June 2, 2014 1:09 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip for three days starting on Sunday in order to allow Umrah pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia and others to return to Gaza.

The Gaza crossings authorities on Sunday morning notified 800 pilgrims who make up the tenth group of Gaza pilgrims headed to Mecca that they can travel Sunday.

Meanwhile, Gazan pilgrims who have already performed the pilgrimage to Mecca and until now were stuck in Egypt will be able to return to Gaza on Monday and Tuesday.

The Rafah crossing is the principal connection between Gaza's 1.7 million people and the outside world, but Egypt maintains it tightly shut as part of the jointly-enforced Israeli blockade.

The Gaza Strip suffers from widespread shortages and recurrent humanitarian crises as a result of the siege, which has been in place since 2007.
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