Hamas: 5,000 Gazans await Rafah opening
The interior ministry of the sacked Hamas unity government based in the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday that there are 5,000 Palestinians waiting for the reopening of Rafah terminal on the border with Egypt, Xinhua reported.
Adel Zo'rob, spokesman for borders and crossings, said in a statement that the 5,000 Gazans are waiting for Egypt to reopen the terminal, adding most of them are patients, students and those who hold other nationalities.
Rafah crossing is the only gateway for 1.5 million Gazans to the outside world bypassing Israel. The crossing remained closed since Hamas movement took control of the Gaza Strip by force and routed President Mahmoud Abbas security forces in June 2007.
Egypt, however, in coordination with Hamas authorities in Gaza, has opened the crossings from time to time for humanitarian aids and for allowing patients to travel to Egypt for medical treatment.
Zo'rob called on Egypt "to ease the tight and hard restrictions imposed on those who want to travel from Gaza to Egypt," adding that "we are eager to see a more bigger and active Egyptian role to end the crisis."
Last week, Egypt decided to reopen Rafah crossing for three days, but Hamas authorities in Gaza refused to let people leave through the crossing following a disagreement with Egypt on the numbers of passengers.
"We have no problem if Egypt has veto on the entrance of certain individuals for security reasons, but Egypt should let ordinary people, mainly wounded and patients to travel," said Zo' rob.
Egypt refuses to fully open the crossing until Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agree on a mechanism to operate the crossing in accordance with a U.S.-brokered agreement reached in 2005 on operating Gaza crossings with Israel and Egypt.