Egypt will open its Rafah border with Gaza starting from Saturday “on a daily basis” to ease the entry restrictions for Palestinians, the state MENA news agency reported on Wednesday.
The move, suggested a fresh priorities in foreign policy after the revolution that ousted the former President Hosni Mubarak.
The move might raise Israel’s objection because Hosni Mubarak’s government has a 1979 peace treaty with Israel which enforced blockade on the Islamist Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The Rafah border crossing was periodically opened for food and medicine, or to let through people, mainly those seeking medical treatment or travelling to study in Palestinian, under Mubarak’s government, reported Reuters.
Egyptian authorities have decided to extend the working hours at Rafah border crossing starting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Fridays and official holidays, MENA said.
The decision came as part of Egyptian efforts to end divisions among Palestinians and to finalise their reconciliation, MENA reported.
This is an Egyptian independent decision. Egypt has not consulted any foreign country before the agreement, Menha Bakhoum, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told Jazeera.
“Egyptian decision was to end the suffering of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” Menha said.
Egyptian authorities have also decided to allow Palestinian men from anywhere in the world over the age of 40 and under the age of 18 to travel to Egypt without a visa. And also students of all ages with letters of acceptance from Egyptian universities will also be allowed, MENA reported.