Cairo’s military-led government announced today that will open its Rafah border, the country’s only crossing with the Gaza Strip. The reopening comes after a four-year blockade, instituted by both Israel and Egypt after Hamas took over the territory. Opening the border gives Palestinians in Gaza a way to enter and exit freely for the first time since 2007. Last year, Israel eased limitations on cargo entering Gaza, but it still heavily restricts entry and exit of Gaza through the northern crossing. Cairo also said it would reinstate pre-blockade rules that call for European observers to operate the crossing and Israeli checks on people and cargo. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby telegraphed the reopening by telling Al Jazeera last month that the decision to close the border was “a disgusting matter.” Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency said the reopening was part of an effort “to end the status of the Palestinian division and achieve national reconciliation.” This just isn’t Bibi’s week, is it?
Egypt To Open Rafah Border Crossing Permanently [AP via NPR]