Egypt re-opens Gaza crossing as Israel eases restrictions

Filed on August 26, 2021

The territory has been blockaded since 2007

Egypt on Thursday partially re-opened the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip, allowing one-way traffic into Palestinian enclave, as Israel eased import restrictions for the territory it has blockaded since 2007.

Rafah, Gaza's only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, was shuttered on Monday by Egypt.

It came after Gazans on Saturday staged protests.

Egypt is a key mediator between Israel and the Hamas who control the coastal enclave.

Late Wednesday, Hamas's interior ministry announced that Rafah would open to incoming traffic on Thursday and to two-way traffic on Sunday.

People had begun to cross after midday, an AFP journalist said.

The Israeli military branch responsible for civil affairs in Palestinian territories (COGAT) said more goods would be allowed to enter Gaza from Thursday.

They would includes "equipment for international civilian projects" and new vehicles, among other measures, it said in a statement.

Israel also agreed to boost by 1,000 the number of merchants allowed through its Erez crossing to Gaza.

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