Thursday, May 26, 2011

Details on Egypt opening Rafah

The news that Egypt is opening up the Rafah crossing permanently starting on Saturday is being widely reported, but the details are not.

According to the Hamas Palestine Times newspaper, there are still restrictions on who could cross the border.

  • Women and children under 18 are allowed to cross without prior coordination with Egypt.
  • Men over 40 can as long as they meet certain conditions.
  • Students with valid papers and medical cases will be allowed as well, along with Gazans with investments in Egypt who have the proper paperwork.

There will still not be any facilities for large shipments of materials through the crossing, but families can go shopping in Egypt and bring back their own needs.

The opening is expected to be a bonanza for taxi drivers who will be ferrying people to and from both sides of the border. And lately the number of taxis in Gaza has mushroomed as lots of cars are entering the area, both from Israel and smuggled in from Libya.