Only few able to travel through Rafah Crossing yesterday

Only 430 individual were able to travel through Rafah crossing yesterday. Photo: Gisha's archive

Only 430 individual were able to travel through Rafah crossing yesterday. Photo: Gisha’s archive

June 2, 2016. Yesterday was the first of 4 days in which Rafah crossing will be open for travel between Gaza and Egypt. The Palestinian Ministry of Interior in Gaza documented 339 crossings into Egypt and 91 crossings into Gaza.

Around 30,000 individuals are on the waiting list to exit though Rafah crossing. The categories of those able to cross into Egypt include medical patients seeking treatment, students registered to study and those with foreign residency or a foreign passport. 149 of those who exited yesterday are under the category of “Egyptian coordination”, meaning they are from a list that is not consistent with the priorities of the Palestinian Crossings Authority.

Six busses from Gaza, each bus filled with between 80 and 90 people, were turned back at the Egyptian side of the crossing yesterday and are expected to cross into Egypt today. Additionally, those with Egyptian passports and those who appear on the list of Egyptian coordination are also expected to cross.

The number of exits recorded yesterday is lower than the average number of daily exits recorded last time Rafah crossing was open. In mid-May, an average of 370 people exited each day through Rafah crossing over the two days that it was open. Previously, Rafah crossing was open for three days in February with an average of 813 exits per day.

In 2015, Rafah crossing was only open for travel from Gaza into Egypt for 25 days and for travel from Egypt into Gaza for 31 days. In all of 2015, only 14,458 exits were recorded. In the first half of 2013, when Rafah crossing operated regularly, a monthly average of 40,816 crossings were recorded there.