RAMALLAH, April 30 (JMCC) - Egyptian officials are planning to reopen the Rafah crossing to the Gaza Strip, officials said Saturday, reports the Washington Post
“We have an intention to open it permanently for humanitarian reasons,” said Ambassador Menha Bakhoum, a ministry spokeswoman.
Access to Gaza from Egypt had been severely restricted at Israel’s request after the Islamic movement Hamas took control of the territory in 2007. Israel and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist organization, and Israel imposed a blockade on the territory because officials said they were concerned about weapons and explosives being transported across the border.
Bakhoum said that Egypt would spend the next week or two studying the issue but added that officials hoped to open it “as quickly as possible.” A cheering crowd of about 50 Egyptians waving Palestinian flags marched Friday night toward the Foreign Ministry building in Cairo.
The crossing was closed in January when Egypt began experiencing protests and unrest against the now deposed leader, Hosni Mubarak.