Egypt has eased restrictions at its border crossing with Israel despite criticism from the Jewish State.
The move comes three months after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in a popular uprising.
Woman and children will be allowed free movement. Men aged between 18 and 40 will require a permit.
Trade remains banned, but the reopening is expected to improve the lot of the 1.3 million Palestinians who live cheek by jowl in one of the world’s most densely populated tracts of land.
The crossing was closed in 2007 after Hamas took control of the strip.
Israel says the country now faces fresh security concerns.
For Gazans the Rafah crossing represents the only entry point to the external world.