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International Border Crossing in Gaza Strip Opens to Traffic

  • VOA News

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have begun crossing the border with Egypt on the first day of operations of a Palestinian-controlled terminal linking the two sides.

The first busload of Palestinians moved through the Rafah terminal around noon local time on Saturday.

Witnesses say dozens of people packed the bus as hundreds more waited.

The Palestinian Authority officially opened the crossing Friday.

The crossing will operate only four hours a day until all 70 European Union monitors can arrive and get settled.

As part of a US-brokered deal, no Israelis will be present, but a joint team of Israelis and Palestinians will be able to monitor the border using security cameras installed at the crossing.

Israel closed the crossing in September after withdrawing from Gaza, and for months had refused to re-open the border, citing fears that weapons could be smuggled from Egypt into Gaza.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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