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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Reports say that the Rafah crossing will be opened on Wednesday and Thursday for a few people with humanitarian needs to travel from Gaza to Egypt.

It has been 85 days since the Rafah crossing last opened. In February, 3,561 people crossed in both directions, the only time it was open in 2016.

By contrast, there are some 7,000 crossings between Israel and Gaza every week.

There are over 30,000 Gazans on the waiting list to leave via Rafah.

Egypt says it keeps the crossing closed for security reasons, and it accuses Hamas of helping jihadist fighters in the Sinai. Israel, which has far larger security concerns with Gaza and yet allows people to pass nearly every day, is regularly described as "besieging" the sector.

Nearly 5,000 tons of produce were exported from Gaza through Israel in the first quarter this year, and increase of 150% over last year. Nothing was exported through Egypt.

Earlier this month the Egyptian electricity line to Gaza was down for five days, as residents in Rafah lost a few more hours of power every day. Israel provides about 120 MW of electricity daily while the Egyptian line provides 17 MW.



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