Egyptian authorities on Sunday notified the Gaza Ministry of Interior that the Rafah border crossing would be open for three days starting Monday to allow Gazans to leave for the holy Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia’s Mecca, Gazan officials said, according to the Ma”an news agency.
The Hamas-run Ministry of Interior said in a statement that the Egyptian authorities would only allow pilgrims access through the terminal.
Egyptian authorities have kept the crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times.
Last month Egyptian authorities opened the crossing for four days, allowing 2,579 humanitarian cases to leave Gaza while 3,178 people were permitted entry to the coastal enclave.
In late June, Egyptian authorities agreed to keep the crossing open for a week, the longest period so far this year.
Sources in Egypt have revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in October, which killed 30 soldiers, through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.
Egypt has been dealing with an insurgency in the restive Sinai Peninsula, with most of the attacks being claimed by the Sinai Province, which is affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS).
Among the attacks claimed by the group since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai.