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Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing to Gaza: Hamas

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A picture shows the closed gates of the Rafah crossing point with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on July 5, 2013. Egypt is set to reopen the Rafah crossing, a Hamas official said on Thursday, a week after Cairo closed down the Gaza Strip's only land passage that bypasses Israel. (AFP/File)

Egypt is set to reopen the Rafah crossing, a Hamas official said on Thursday, a week after Cairo closed down the Gaza Strip's only land passage that bypasses Israel.

"The Rafah crossing will reopen this Saturday for four hours daily, for humanitarian cases and Palestinians with foreign nationalities," Maher Abu Sabha, director general of border crossing for the Islamist Hamas government, said in a statement.

Egypt had "indefinitely" closed the Rafah crossing from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave on August 15, citing security reasons behind the move a day after deadly violence nationwide.

The closure had left hundreds of Palestinians stranded on both sides.

Hamas said the Egyptian decision followed pressure from Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniya and his government's foreign ministry.

On Saturday, Egypt had reopened Rafah to allow into its territory one bus load of Palestinians with international passports and people in need of medical treatment.

Hamas is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.