Middle East

Hamas: Egypt briefly reopens border with Gaza

A view of the smuggling tunnels area along Egypt Gaza border is seen from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

GAZA CITY: A Hamas official says Egypt has temporarily reopened its border with Gaza but only to allow the passage of Palestinians back to the coastal territory.

Egypt closed the crossing in the wake of a deadly attack on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula that killed 16 troops last weekend.

Maher Abu Sabha said Friday the crossing would remain open for two days to allow Palestinians in Egypt to return to Gaza. Egyptian border guards are still prohibiting Gazans from entering Egypt.

Gaza's Hamas rulers lobbied Egypt last month to open the border and end a longtime blockade. But after Sunday's deadly ambush, Egypt closed the crossing, accusing Gaza militants of helping coordinate the assault.

The closing was a blow to Hamas' hopes of establishing better ties with Egypt.





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