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May-30-2011 17:54TweetFollow @OregonNews
Egypt opens Rafah crossing permanentlyYousef Al-Helou Salem-News.com
Hamas calls the opening a step in the right direction.
(GAZA) - The Rafah crossing, Gaza's only gate to the outside world other than those in Israel, will now be open permanently six days a week, with the exception of Fridays and holidays.
Gaza residents are extremely happy about the news. One resident who spoke to Press TV said:
"As for this stage, we are happy that people are going to get back, as if before 2006, to travel freely without any problems. People in Gaza say it would help them greatly to have this basic right of travel and return in place"
Another Gaza man said:
"We hope that more smooth access positions will be taken by Egyptians, and we hope that so many goods that Gazans are in bad need of, can come into Gaza."
However, the crossing will not be completely free.
Women and children under the age of 18 will be allowed to leave, as well as men over the age of 40. However men between 18 and 40 will require an Egyptian visa.
Hamas says it is a step in the right direction.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Spokesman for Hamas, says they welcome this decision:
"It is an important step toward breaking the siege of Gaza. Of course the Israeli's dismay over this decision has led them to put pressure on Egypt to keep the crossing closed." Fatah Spokesman Falsal Abu Shahia says:
"I don't think the American or Israeli position is effective any more than before in Egypt; the revolution in Egypt and the Palestinians, are not here to please the Israelis."
Opening the Egypt/Gaza border eases the isolation of people in Gaza who have been relying on tunnels to import necessities. That is more than 1.6 million human beings.
Yousef Al-Helou is a freelance journalist based in Gaza, you can reach him at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. We at Salem-News.com greatly appreciate Yousef's contribution for our readers. The siege of Gaza is one of the most upsetting and seemingly avoidable military events since the dawn of the new Millennium.
Having someone in the field there able to send fresh reports to us offers our viewers the freshest perspective from the scene that they are likely to find in western media.
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