The Rafah border crossing is currently open nine hours a day for six days a week
Palestinians wave their national flag during a rally in front of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Cairo has eased the visa requirements for Gazans under 40 who want to travel to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, Palestinian officials have told AFP. © Said Khatib - AFP/File
The Rafah border crossing is currently open nine hours a day for six days a week
AFP
Last updated: July 23, 2012

Palestinians say Egypt eases Rafah restrictions

Cairo has eased the visa requirements for Gazans under 40 who want to travel to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, Palestinian officials said on Monday.

"We were officially informed by the Egyptian side about a decision to allow any Palestinian under the age of 40 to travel through Rafah with his family without a visa, starting today," said Maher Abu Sabha, director of borders within Gaza's Hamas-run government.

Until now, Palestinians within that age bracket have been unable to travel without a visa, but the new regulations lift that requirement if they are travelling with family.

Earlier this month, Egypt's newly elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi raised the number of people allowed to cross daily out of Gaza to 1,500 from 1,000 in a bid to ease conditions in the coastal territory which has been languishing under an Israeli blockade.

In May 2011, Egypt agreed to permanently reopen Rafah, ending its cooperation with the Israeli blockade which was imposed in 2006 after Gaza-based militants captured an Israeli soldier.

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