Egypt briefly opens borders with Gaza 2008-12-23 18:44:52   Print

    GAZA, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Egypt briefly opened its borders with the Gaza Strip early Tuesday to allow Palestinians, stranded on its territories, to cross into the Palestinian enclave.

    Adel Zouroub, spokesman for crossing department at Hamas administration, said the one-way opening lasted for three hours and 147 Palestinians could enter into Gaza.

    At 3 a.m. (0000 GMT), Egypt closed the crossing point again, Zouroub said. "We don't know if the terminal would be open again."

    The last time Egypt opened Rafah border crossing with Gaza in two ways was in early November when 147 Palestinians traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform minor pilgrimage to Mecca.

    Since early November, an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which expired last Friday, was rocked with the surge of a new wave of violence. Egypt and Israel restored severe restrictions on the crossing points into Gaza from their sides.

    Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip last year after Hamas routed security forces loyal to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and seized security installations in the coastal Strip.

    Egypt also maintained the closure of Rafah crossing except for brief occasional openings before humanitarian cases.

    On Monday, Hamas said it agreed on a 24-hour ceasefire to help Egypt persuading Israel to allow the aid trucks into Gaza.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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