Egypt opens Gaza border crossing

Rafah to remain open for three days to let Palestinian students and patients to pass.

    Al Jazeera's Todd Baer, reporting form Rafah, said it was a day of celebration.

    "The mood here for the first time in an awful long time is one of great happiness for those few who are being able to cross the border," he said.

    However, many Palestinians in Gaza will not be able to enter Egypt, Baer said.

    "We are being told by officials here that some 200 people who desperately need to go to Egypt for medical treatment at better equipped hospitals than they have here in Gaza, do not have the correct paperwork," he said.

    Rafah has been largely closed since June 2006, when fighters seized an Israeli soldier in a deadly cross-border raid.

    Under a 2005 agreement struck after Israel withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza, Rafah was operated jointly by Egyptian and Palestinian officials with European Union observers and cameras allowing Israel to monitor live.

    Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007 after street clashes with rivals from the secular Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

    Since then, Israel has tightened its blockade on the Palestinian territory where most of its 1.4 million  inhabitants survive on foreign aid.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.