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Rafah crossing. To open for first time since Hamas takeover
Photo: AP
Egypt to open Rafah crossing
Cairo seeks to 'end Palestinian suffering' while Gaza sources say four injured by IDF artillery fire

Egypt is preparing to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for the first time since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007, Cairo said Thursday, in order to "put an end to Palestinian suffering".

 

Also Thursday, four Palestinians were injured from IDF artillery fire, medical sources said. The sources added that ambulances had evacuated the four, which include a woman and a child. The army said it had fired at a terror cell attempting to plant an explosive device.

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El-Arabi told the al-Jazeera network that the Rafah crossing would open "in a few days" because it was the only way for Gazans to leave the Strip. "Egyptian national security and Palestinian security are one," he added.

 

Other Egyptian officials responded Thursday to the truce deal being formed between Hamas and Fatah.

 

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Higher Military Council that took control of Egypt after former President Hosni Mubarak was deposed, said on his Facebook page that "the threat against the Palestinian government has enraged Arab nations, which may augur disastrous results".

 

Sami Annan, the Egyptian chief of staff, also made remarks on Facebook. "The Israeli government must show restraint when it discusses peace talks. It must refrain from intervening in internal matters of Palestine," he wrote.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood also responded to the truce. Leader of the movement, Mohammed Badie, commended the agreement and Cairo's instrumental role in bringing it about.

 

Badie called on Palestinian factions "not to listen to Zionist threats that reject this deal, which reveals their hostile stance towards a Palestinian truce that will return rights to Palestinians".

 

The Muslim Brotherhood also called on the government to prevent the continuing supply of gas to Israel out of "solidarity with the Palestinian people besieged in the West Bank and Gaza".

 

Roee Nahmias contributed to this report

 

 

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