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Egypt to lift restrictions on Gaza border
Published Wednesday 25/05/2011 (updated) 27/05/2011 12:14
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CAIRO (AFP) -- Egypt will open the Rafah border crossing on a daily basis starting this weekend in a bid to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the official MENA news agency reported Wednesday.

Egyptian authorities will now open the border from "9:00 am to 5:00 pm on a daily basis, except for Fridays and public holidays" starting Saturday, May 28, MENA said.

Egypt will revert to entry rules for Palestinians in place before the blockade was imposed in 2007.

"Palestinian women of all ages will be exempted from visas as will men under 18 or over 40," MENA said.

The exemption also applies to Palestinians entering Egypt for study as long as they have proof of affiliation to an Egyptian university, MENA said.

Although Egypt had been gradually easing restrictions on the Gaza border -- it had been operating five days a week -- Palestinians needed to coordinate with security authorities before entering Egypt.

The Rafah border with Egypt is Gaza's only crossing that bypasses Israel.
1 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
25/05/2011 22:11
So now at least any tunnels used for smuggling under this border will go dormant, right ? ... and that also means any materials used for hostilities against US (Qassam rockets; explosives; rocket-propelled grenades; etc.) will be stopped, right ? I was ENTERTAINED ENOUGH when our PM did his blabbering to the Americans in front of AIPAC and their Congress. Now we'll find if the Palestinian "unity" government can "control" the Rafah border. Right now, I'm busting my guts laughing like hell.

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
25/05/2011 22:57
Another little step. While the Zionists rant and rave, their ship is slowly (not so slowly lately) sinking beneath their feet. This would have been unimaginable six years ago. Back when Israel was riding high, wide, and handsome.

3 ) MIKE / USA
25/05/2011 23:13

4 ) tom / uk
25/05/2011 23:30
I hope this is a signal that Egypt will no longer collaborate with a mass murdering racist regime and rogue state stuffed with war criminals, and find its way back towards independence and civility from so abject and abhorent a point in its long history. I hope there will be trials of the collaborators at the very least.

5 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
26/05/2011 00:31
This is a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak news week. There is no Egyptian national interest is arms smuggling, neither by the unity government. Of course, Israel will act in its interest, but an unprovoked invasion is not in its interest. No elections are pending in Israel and the irrational euphoria of having 'defeated' the USA is still being celebrated. Israel also 'claims' that Gaza is not occupied. An opportunity to prove it. Kudos Unity gov & Egypt.

6 ) Tobias / US
26/05/2011 00:49

I agree, Hooray Egypt, but they should go one step further still, and
as you say, "I hope this is a signal that Israel will no longer collaborate"
with maintaining Gaza either:

- Egypt's got the open border, despite it's Israeli agreements,
so Israel's border crossing are no longer needed, and all UN
and world aid can start going through Egypt's Rafiah crossing !!!

7 ) EE / UK
26/05/2011 01:25
If Egypt is going to open Rafah crossing for Palestinian terrorist, it should tell good-buy to tourists. I am not sure that Egypt can survive without tourism industry – more likely it will repeat Somalia track of the failed state. But the Rafah border crossing will be open – I guess it is good news.

8 ) marge / US
26/05/2011 02:05
Hope Egypt will not allow US bribes to change its mind about opening the Rafah border crossing to Palestinians, since US will surely try to bribe it to maintain blockade on behalf of Apartheid Israel. Glad Egypt is breaking US yoke and setting an example for other Arab and Muslim countries to follow. Palestinians will soon have some freedom although will remain caged until the blockade of Gaza is completely lifted, and they are in control of their air, land, and waterways. Kudos to Egypt.

9 ) southparkbear / usa
26/05/2011 02:43
sure, till the next grad aimed at Eilat hits Aman

10 ) Paolo / Italy
26/05/2011 04:07
Will the border be open only for people, or also for products. If it keeps closed for products, then the tunnels will continue to function. There is no other way to feed the people.

11 ) Jay / US
26/05/2011 05:18
to #4 Tom UK........ I assume you are speaking of Hamas in Gaza.

12 ) Brian T. Manning / Australia
26/05/2011 08:58
If Israel gave up their vision of an exclusive Jewish State and instead established with Palestinians, a free secular State, governing for all denominations, there would be no need to live in fear of violence from the Arab states. As it stands, Israeli's will continue to entrench their status as an Apartheid state incurring the enmity of supporters of true Democracy, and an increased BDS campaign. One day the non-Jewish Americans will wake up and cut the military support from US Taxpayers.

13 ) Carla / Italy
26/05/2011 09:27
It is time for Palestinians to have a little freedom, to use the Rafah crossing for good and not for weapons or other things, Hamas must comply with the cease-fire with Israel, Palestinian Think
Israel does not should be at peace with the Palestinians,
Show the United States, the UN and the world can be a free and peaceful state.

14 ) Outsider / EU
26/05/2011 09:50
It really would have been better if Israel could have been part of the solution, rather than trying to block all initiatives in the Israel-Palestine dispute. However, with a unity government in place, it really is time to start looking to the future and allowing people to build their lives and young people to continue their education.

15 ) Phil / UK
26/05/2011 14:37
One day soon they will have to tear down the entire boarder to allow Gazans to flee the onslaught. That will be the result of allowing the terrorists to arm themselves to the point were they think they can stand and fight the IDF. You people don't realise. The blockade is as much a protection for Gazan civilians as it is for Israelis. Don't agree? Then look at Lebanon. What do you think will happen when Hezbollah start firing again from those hospitals and schools were they have placed missiles?

16 ) Alessia / Italia
26/05/2011 14:40
this is a great step for all over the world! i hope that Egypt will continue to help palestinian people and that the border will be open also to the products. In this way the palestinian people could live in a better way. the horrors of the Holocaust are not palestinian's business. it's the western world that should pay its past errors. the jews could live in a palestinian state ruled by arabic people (the only one that have the right to live in that country) Solution is: Free palestine!Stop war
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