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

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.