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Rafah crossing with Gaza open for 3rd day

Aug. 19, 2015 4:25 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 19, 2015 4:26 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Egyptian authorities continued to operate the Rafah crossing with Gaza for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, officials said.

A total of 715 passengers left the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and 1,008 arrived from Egypt, a statement from the Palestinian Ministry of Interior’s department of border crossings said. Two ambulances also left the coastal enclave carrying patients in need of special treatment.

The Egyptians authorities denied the entry of 11 Gaza passengers to Egypt without justification, the statement added.

Also, 987 tons of cement and 411 tons of crushed stones were allowed into Gaza on Tuesday.

The Rafah crossing, Gaza's only connection to the outside world, has been virtually closed since October 2014, allowing only a fraction of Gazans to leave or enter the blockaded enclave.

In late June, Egyptian authorities agreed to keep the crossing open for a week, the longest period so far this year. According to Egyptian security sources, the crossing will be opened more frequently in the near future.

The crossing was also opened earlier in May, for a couple of days only.

On Tuesday, Egyptian security sources announced the government's plan to fill a kilometer-long trench along the Gazan border with seawater.

The fish-farming project also aims to prevent the use of smuggling tunnels from Gaza.

The 1.8 million residents of the Gaza Strip have lived under a strict Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade since 2007. The humanitarian situation in the enclave remains dire one year after the Gaza war last summer, with reconstruction having started only in July this year.
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