The Egyptian authorities announced yesterday that Rafah crossing would remain open for one extra day as the number of people waiting to cross from Egypt reached 1413 by Thursday evening. The border has remained completely closed since March this year.
Egyptian news sources today released a statement, attributed to an official source based at Rafah, saying that the 48 hour opening of the Rafah crossing had been extended by one day in order to enable those stranded at the border to return to the Gaza Strip.
An elderly Palestinian woman, Yousra Al-Khatib, reportedly died at the border yesterday as temperatures soared to 46 degrees, said Egyptian Daily News.
Egypt faced calls yesterday from Ismail Haniyeh, Vice President of the Political Bureau of Hamas, for the crossing to remain open indefinitely. Haniyeh stated that the Rafah crossing would not be a ‘security issue’ and that it ‘must remain a political and humanitarian issue’.
The border crossing had been closed as the Egyptian military evacuated the area and destroyed tunnels in an operation to maintain the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt.