RAFAH, Gaza Strip – Egypt has opened its border with the Gaza Strip to allow stranded Palestinians to return home.
Tuesday's opening was the first time the Rafah border crossing has operated since March. The director of the Hamas-controlled side of the crossing, Maher Abu Sabha, says the border is scheduled to close again Wednesday afternoon.
The crossing has only been open five days this year to allow movement of Palestinians in both directions. The one-direction opening reflects the deepening hostility between Gaza's Hamas rulers and Egypt. Cairo considers Hamas an extension of the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood movement, which it considers a terrorist group.
Abu Sabha called on Egypt to fully open the crossing, saying 15,000 people are waiting to depart from Gaza, including 3,000 medical patients.