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Rafah crossing to fully reopen Tuesday Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Rafah crossing to fully reopen Tuesday

Hamas announced the opening of the crossing (AFP)

Date of publication: 29 January, 2019

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Rafah crossing will reopen on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks.

The sole passenger crossing between Gaza and Egypt will reopen in both directions Tuesday, Hamas said, after it was partially closed amid Palestinian political infighting.

In a statement late Monday, the Hamas-run interior ministry announced "the opening of the Rafah border crossing in both directions on Tuesday".

There was no immediate confirmation from Egypt.

Forces loyal to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas withdrew on January 6 from the Rafah border crossing, accusing rivals Hamas of interference.

Hamas employees retook the post and negotiated with Egypt, saying they were seeking to maintain control after the PA's withdrawal.

Since then Egypt had kept the border sealed for those seeking to leave the Gaza Strip, while allowing those returning to enter.

The crossing is the only way for Palestinians to leave Gaza that bypasses Israel and is a key lifeline for the enclave's two million residents.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since seizing it from Abbas's forces in a 2007 near civil war.

The PA had retaken control of the border after a 2017 reconciliation deal between Abbas's Fatah, which dominates the PA, and Hamas.

That deal has since collapsed and relations between the parties have worsened.

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