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Egypt to ease travel for Palestinians at Rafah crossing

Aug. 28, 2018 12:59 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2018 2:49 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Egyptian authorities announced, on Tuesday, that decisions were made to ease the movement of Palestinians through the Rafah crossing, at the borders with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip, within the next 48 hours.

The Palestinian embassy in Cairo said that Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi gave instructions to all parties concerned to ease the travel of Palestinians through the Rafah crossing into the besieged Gaza Strip and vice versa.

Sources confirmed that the ease of travel is in order to ensure the Palestinians' safety and ease their suffering.

Al-Sisi requested plans, programs and mechanisms that would speed up Palestinians' traveling from Egypt within 48 hours.

The Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing allowing passage in both directions for hundreds of Palestinians in Egyptian cities to return to Gaza, while about 20,000 Palestinians are signed up on waiting lists, awaiting departure from the besieged Gaza Strip to the rest of the world.

Recently, Palestinians have complained about the excessive security measures at the Rafah crossing, noting that traveling from Cairo to Gaza takes up to four days, while from Gaza to Cairo takes two days.

The standard time to travel between these two destinations is an estimate of six hours.

There are three crossings into the Gaza Strip and one of them is the Gaza-Egypt crossing known as the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza, which is specifically used for pedestrians. However, it is often closed and lacks infrastructure for it to be a main commercial crossing.

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