Egypt partially reopened its border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a week after it was closed in response to a deadly attack on an Egyptian military headquarters near the frontier.
Witnesses said two buses took 100 passengers into Egypt through the Rafah crossing, the main window to the world for the Gaza Strip’s 1.7 million Palestinians. Hundreds of other people waited outside the gates for a chance to enter Egypt.
Officials of the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank-based rival of Gaza’s Hamas Islamist rulers, said Cairo agreed to open the crossing for four hours on Wednesday and Thursday at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s request to address the humanitarian needs of patients seeking treatment in Egypt and of students studying there.
Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has governed Gaza since 2007 and has an uneasy relationship with Egypt’s new army-backed leadership, which toppled the elected Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, a Hamas ally, in July.
Since Mursi’s removal, Cairo has shut Rafah three times.