Many see it as a new chapter in Egyptian policy. Post-revolution Egypt pledged to reopen the Rafah border with Gaza on a permanent basis.
On Saturday, that pledge was put into practice, allowing thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to move freely.
The opening is good news for Hamas which rules Gaza, and the group says there is no need for European Union monitors or Israeli security cameras to supervise the crossing. The move has left Israel deeply concerned.
Just what are the risks? What does it mean for the people of Gaza? And does it signal a showdown in Egyptian-Israeli ties?
Inside Story, with presenter Nick Clark, discusses with Mustapha Barghouti, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative; Gamal Adel Gawad, the director of the Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies; and Yossi Mekelberg, an associate fellow for the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Saturday, May 28, 2011.