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Egypt to permanently open border crossing with Gaza

Arab World Materials 26 May 2011 00:31 (UTC +04:00)
Egypt's border crossing with the Gaza Strip will be opened permanently starting next Saturday, the Egyptian government announced Wednesday.
Egypt to permanently open border crossing with Gaza

Egypt's border crossing with the Gaza Strip will be opened permanently starting next Saturday, the Egyptian government announced Wednesday.

The move would help to end the Palestinian division and achieve national reconciliation for Palestinians, said the government, DPA reported.

The decision comes as a sharp turnaround in Cairo after the ouster earlier this year of former president Hosny Mubarak, whose government had restricted movement of people and goods from the enclave, partially due to disagreements with the Islamist Hamas group, which has de facto control over the strip.

Mubarak's government mediated for years between Fatah and Hamas, the two major Palestinian factions, and between Palestinians and Israelis.

However, attempts to reconcile the two Palestinian rivals were unsuccessful until earlier this month, when Hamas and Fatah representatives reached agreement on the issues dividing them.

Egypt's interim military rulers have been under pressure to open the border to ease the blockade imposed after Hamas seized control of the strip in 2007, and to ease the movement of people, food and humanitarian aid to the strip.

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