Egypt Permanently Opens Gaza Border Crossing

Hooray! Dignity for Palestinians. I hope it lasts.

Story here.

The reopening of the Rafah border crossing eases an Egyptian blockade that has prevented the vast majority of Gaza’s 1.5 million people from being able to travel abroad. The closure, along with an Israeli blockade of its borders with Gaza, has fueled an economic crisis in the densely populated territory.

After two hours of operation, Hatem Awideh, director general of the Hamas border authority in Gaza, said 175 people had crossed. None were forced to return, a departure from the past when Egypt had rejected passengers found to be on “blacklists.”

“Today is a cornerstone for a new era that we hope will pave the road to ending the siege and blockade on Gaza,” Awideh said. “We hope this facilitation by our Egyptian brothers will improve travel and will allow everyone to leave Gaza.”

One woman, who gave her name as Aisha, was headed for a long overdue medical checkup in Cairo. She said she underwent surgery for blocked arteries at a Cairo hospital in October, but Egyptian authorities had prevented her from returning for checkups because a distant relative was caught — and killed — operating a smuggling tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border.

(I just excerpted the good parts. All the parts about how dangerous Palestinians are are in the article if you want to read it. But this post is about the good news).

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