embers of Palestinian security forces keep watch as a taxi carrying passengers arrives at the gate of Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip
Members of Palestinian security forces keep watch as a taxi carrying passengers arrives at the gate of Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip
Photo: Reuters
Members of Palestinian security forces keep watch as a taxi carrying passengers arrives at the gate of Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip

Gaza is open again, to the south, but for how long?

Many Gazans, who rely on the border crossing into Egypt being opened for their livelihood, say as long as the conflict between Israel and the Hamas leadership persists, the gates will not reopen permanently

Reuters |
Published: 02.25.21 , 15:52
A fleet of yellow Mercedes taxis lines up outside Gaza's newly reopened Rafah crossing into Egypt, polished again and ready to roll, but with no idea for how long.
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  • Uncertainty is a fact of life in the Palestinian border town, where 4,500 people have crossed into Egypt in the two weeks since one of Gaza's few lifelines to the outside world swung open on Feb. 9.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    embers of Palestinian security forces keep watch as a taxi carrying passengers arrives at the gate of Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip
    embers of Palestinian security forces keep watch as a taxi carrying passengers arrives at the gate of Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip
    Members of Palestinian security forces keep watch as a taxi carrying passengers arrives at the gate of Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The opening eased the years-long blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the coastal strip, compounded by measures imposed by all sides to halt the spread of COVID-19.
    It arose from political maneuvering: Egyptian-brokered mediation talks between rival Palestinian factions to smooth the way for possible elections.
    But the travelers have no idea how long the gate will stay open.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A Palestinian woman waits to leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing with Egypt,
    A Palestinian woman waits to leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing with Egypt,
    A Palestinian woman waits to leave Gaza through Rafah border crossing with Egypt,
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "To me, Rafah crossing is my source of living. If it opens, I live, and I eat and buy clothes," said Saif Rusrus, 21, who left school to sell pastries there. "As long as there are disputes, the crossing will continue to open and close."
    Israel and Egypt cite security concerns for the restrictions, pointing to the fact that Gaza is controlled by the Islamist militant group Hamas.
    The two countries allow passage for thousands of workers and humanitarian cases each year, but most of Gaza's two million Palestinians cannot leave.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A Palestinian boy looks out of a car window as he waits to leave Gaza with his family through Rafah border crossing
    A Palestinian boy looks out of a car window as he waits to leave Gaza with his family through Rafah border crossing
    A Palestinian boy looks out of a car window as he waits to leave Gaza with his family through Rafah border crossing
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "Gaza turns into a big prison when Rafah crossing is closed," said hepatitis patient Uday Zaanin, 38, as he waited to board the bus.
    Meanwhile, the IDF announced Thursday that due to the upcoming Purim holiday, all crossings into Israel from the Gaza Strip will be closed starting Thursday until the night between Sunday and Monday pending a review of the security and health situation in both Israel and the Strip.

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