RAMALLAH, May 28 (JMCC) - Egypt permanently reopened the Rafah border crossing leading into the Gaza Strip Saturday, reports
Hundreds of Palestinians crossed without incident into Egypt from the otherwise-sealed Palestinian region. It has been four years since the border was opened to all travelers, save those seeking medical care or a university education.
The closure of the border was an attempt by [Israel and Egypt] countries to cut off Hamas, though it simultaneously created an economic hardship in Gaza by limiting shipments of goods in and out of the country.
Egypt's government opted to reopen the border to offer relief to the people of Gaza, said Ambassador Menha Bakhoum of Egypt's foreign ministry.
But Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has openly criticized the decision, saying in media reports that Hamas was using the open border to bring in rockets.