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Nearly 1,500 Palestinians enter Gaza Strip on 2nd day of border opening

May 8, 2017 12:44 P.M. (Updated: May 8, 2017 6:01 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Nearly 1,500 Palestinians were able to enter the besieged Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Sunday, officials said, as Egyptian authorities opened the border crossing in one direction for the third of four days on Monday.

The borders and crossings committee of Gaza’s Ministry of Interior said in a statement that 1,458 Palestinians entered the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing on Sunday, including patients who were carried across the border in six ambulances.

The committee added that several trucks carrying construction materials were also allowed through the crossing.

More than 800 Palestinians traveled through the crossing on Saturday.

Egyptian authorities announced their decision to open the crossing on Thursday, saying that the order came at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi.

Initially planned to be a three-day opening for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, Egyptian authorities later announced that the opening was extended and Palestinians would be allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt on Tuesday as well.

Egypt has upheld an Israeli military blockade on the Gaza Strip since the ousting of former President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 and the rise to power of al-Sisi in Egypt.

While the Egyptian border has remained the main lifeline for Gazans to the outside world, Egyptian authorities have slowly sealed off movement through the border since Morsi was toppled by the Egyptian army.

Due to the constraints on Palestinian movement through the crossing, many Gazans are commonly barred from leaving or entering the besieged coastal enclave, some for months at a time, as the crossing is only periodically opened by Egyptian authorities, stranding Palestinians on both sides of the crossing during closures.
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