After 52 days, Rafah to open for 4 days

Photo: The crossing is expected to remain open for four days. Photo: Eman Mohammed.

August 17, 2015. Rafah Crossing, between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, opened for travel today. According to media reports, the crossing is expected to remain open until Thursday.  While the crossing is open, Palestinians will be allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt and those meeting Egypt’s criteria for transit will be allowed to exit Gaza for Egypt as well. The criteria include medical patients with a referral, students and individuals with foreign residency or foreign passports.

Rafah Crossing has been closed for the past 52 days. Most recently, it opened on June 23 for three days, but only 1,156 people crossed into Egypt during that time. According to the Palestinian Crossings Authority, there are about 15,000 people on the waiting list to exit Gaza via Rafah. They include thousands who need medical treatment and over a thousand students who have been unable to travel to their study programs in foreign countries.  During the entire month of June, the crossing operated for 10 days, and 6,446 entries and exits were recorded. For the sake of comparison, in June 2013, when the crossing operated during the entire month, 55,995 entries and exits were recorded.