Egyptian authorities opened on Saturday morning Rafah Crossing for Gaza residents to travel through Egypt for only two days.
As estimated by the Palestinian interior ministry in Gaza, between 1,500 and 2,000 people would be able to travel in two days.
However, more than 25,000 Gazans are on the waiting lists; all of them are classified as in an urgent need to travel.
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The interior ministry said that among those on the waiting list there are students, who would lose their places if they did not travel, patients, who might die if they could not reach hospitals abroad, workers, who might lose their jobs if they remained blocked, etc…
On Tuesday, the Egyptian authorities opened the crossing for three days to allow Gazan pilgrims to leave for Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.
Egypt has upheld an Israeli military blockade on the Gaza Strip for the majority of the past three years, since the ouster of first ever freely elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and the rise to power of the coup leader Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi.
Before Morsi’s one-year rule, Mubarak’s Egypt supported the Israeli, internationally backed, siege on the coastal enclave.
In 2015, the Rafah crossing was closed for 344 days. The crossing has been reopened on a more regular basis since the beginning of 2016.
The Israeli, Egyptian and international siege on Gaza, as well as the repercussions of the three major Israeli offensives between 2008 and 2014, led the UN in September to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.