Egypt to open Rafah crossing despite Israeli objection   2011-05-27 05:58:45 FeedbackPrintRSS

RAMALLAH, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Egypt is determined to break the Gaza Strip's isolation by opening Rafah border crossing and it rejects any Israeli interference, an Egyptian diplomat said Thursday.

Yasser Othman, Egypt's ambassador in the West Bank, said that by opening Rafah border crossing to Gazans, 70 percent of the population in the strip will be able to cross into Egypt without visa or security permission.

"The new move Egypt has approved will end Gaza's siege," Othman said.

On Wednesday, Egyptian authorities said that Rafah crossing, the only gate for Gaza's Palestinians that could bypass Israel, will be opened normally and regularly.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007 when the Islamic Hamas movement took over the coastal enclave by force. Egypt then cooperated with Israel by keeping Rafah crossing closed most of the time.

In the second half of 2010, the Egyptian authorities opened Rafah crossing but with restrictions mostly applied to humanitarian cases.

Although Israel has announced its opposition to the Egyptian decision to increase the movement of people in and out of Gaza, Othman said the opening of Rafah crossing was "an Egyptian sovereign issue."

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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