Egypt opens Rafah border for 3 days

Today Egypt announced that they will open the border between Egypt and Gaza for a limited time period of three days. For 50 days the border has been closed leading to crisis in the sieged Gaza Strip. Since Rafah border is the main gate to the world for people in Gaza the closure has led to thousands and thousands of stranded people on both side of the border.

Starting today the border will be open for 3 days. About 10.000 people have applied to get out of Gaza according to the Minstry of Interior, but only 150-300 people can leave in one day. During these days medical patients, students and people with foreign passports will be prioritised to go trough. Still three days is not nearly enough for people in need to pass.

Since the Coup Détat in Egypt which made Adly Mansour president the border has been closed with only a few exceptions for pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia. The latest death due to the border closure was a three year old in need of medical treatment in Turkey. The young child died a couple of weeks ago waiting for the border to open. Fawzy Barhoum, spokesperson of Hamas said that the closure of the border is a “crime against humanity” and also that “we hold all parties that besiege the Gaza strip fully responsible for all the consequences of this crime”.

The illegalization of the Muslim Brotherhood and “any institution branching out of it or receiving financial support from it” has made Hamas an enemy of the new rulers of Egypt. Since the military installation of Adly Mansour in July last year Egypt have announced that they destroyed 1,370 tunnels used to smuggle food, medical resources, fuel and people in and out of the sieged Gaza.