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Relief for some Palestinians, Egypt partially reopens Rafah crossing

Relief for some Palestinians, Egypt partially reopens Rafah crossing
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The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip has been partially reopened after being closed since Monday.

Thousands of Palestinians on either side have been waiting for the Egyptian authorities to ease restrictions.

Egypt’s new army-backed leadership does not have a good relationship with Palestinian group Hamas, who control Gaza and had supported ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

Over 1,000 people passed through everyday when Morsi was in power.

The crossing has been completely shut since the killing of 25 Egyptian police in Sinai. Egyptian authorities cited ‘security reasons’.

Describing his situation, Abdallah al-Haw said: “If I can’t cross now, I’ll lose another term at university and will be delayed when starting the next term. This is a huge problem for Palestinian students in Egypt. It will cost us more money.”

Others are fed up, like Gaza resident Musa Islibi who said: “I am going to Saudi Arabia. I have come here to try and cross a couple of times in the past few weeks. I’m tired of it.”

It is not only Palestinians who have been left hanging about.

“I have been waiting since Monday to pass back through Rafah crossing to Egypt. Here is it’s very crowded today, there are many, many, many people who’ve been waiting for a long time,” said British man Andrew Karney from inside the terminal.

For people wanting to get in and out of Gaza, the Rafah crossing is the only one that borders Egypt and not Israel.

Hamas has complained that Egypt has severely restricted the number of people allowed to cross since Morsi was deposed.