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İHH emergency aid team at the Rafah border. November 20, 2012

Egypt: 1,158 Palestinians enter Gaza via Rafah in three days

Egypt’s Rafah border-crossing was opened in both directions for the third day on Thursday, allowing the passage of 1158 people through it since Tuesday, reported the state news agency MENA.

The crossing, which connects the Palestinian Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula in eastern Egypt, isscheduled to remain opened until late Thursday.

Of those who used the crossing on Tuesday and Wednesday, 926 crossed into Egypt, while 232 people headed for the besieged Gaza strip, reported MENA.

Eighty-two trucks carrying building material also crossed into the strip on both days, reported MENA.

The Gaza strip is home to 1.8 million people and is currently recovering from destruction caused by 50 days of Israeli military operations last summer.

The densely populated enclave is run by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which took over the strip in 2007. Gaza has been under siege since then.

The border crossing is currently the strip’s main exit and entry point.

Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing shut down since October, with the exception of opening it for 22 days, sometimes only in one direction.

The weekly average number of individuals crossing into and out of Gaza in 2015 has heavily declined in comparison to the previous year, according to figures provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The shutdown of the crossing came after militant attacks in Egypt’s North Sinai province left over 30 security personnel dead on October 24, 2014, in one of the deadliest militant attacks in Egypt since a wave of insurgency surged in mid-2013.

The border crossing was last opened last week from June 13 to 19 in both directions.

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