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Palestinians Take Control of Gaza-Egypt Crossing

  • VOA News

Palestinians have officially taken control of a vital border crossing linking the Gaza Strip with Egypt and the wider world.

In a festive ceremony on Friday attended by hundreds of dignitaries and guests, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas symbolically had his passport stamped at the newly refurbished Rafah terminal.

Palestinians hope Rafah will help fuel their struggling economy, allowing for the export of goods and people.

Israel closed Rafah in September after withdrawing from Gaza.

It did not agree to support reopening the crossing until US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pushed through a deal to have European monitors at the site.

The crossing will be open for four hours on Saturday.

Officials say hours will increase as all 70 European monitors arrive and are put into place.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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