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Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing for Gaza pilgrims

Egyptian authorities will exceptionally reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to allow pilgrims from the Israeli-blockaded strip to cross, a Palestinian official said.

“Rafah terminal will be open for three consecutive days,” Hisham Adwan, Palestinian director of the crossing, told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Endowment, some 2,008 pilgrims will leave the strip for the major pilgrimage of Hajj.

Blockaded by Israel — by air, land and sea — since 2007, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world.

Six of these are controlled by Israel, while the seventh — the Rafah crossing — is controlled by Egypt, which keeps it tightly sealed for the most part since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup.

Israel sealed four of its commercial crossings with Gaza in June 2007 after Hamas wrested control of the strip from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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