On Wednesday, Hamas announced that Egypt temporarily reopened its border with the Gaza Strip, the first time the border was opened in three months.
Egypt’s shuttering of Rafah and destruction of cross-border smuggling tunnels, along with tight restrictions imposed by Israel along its own frontier with Gaza, have deepened economic misery for numerous 1.9 million Palestinians in the enclave.
A picture taken on May 6, 2016 from the Israeli side along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip shows the exit of an alleged offensive tunnel leading into Israel.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated on Monday that any continued aggression from terror groups like Hamas, such as the continued digging of tunnels and firing of mortar shells into Israeli territory, would be responded to with force. Hamas denies the allegation. The Rafah crossing, Gaza’s main gateway to the outside world, will operate Wednesday and Thursday.
The Palestinian Embassy in Cairo said Rafah was opened at the request of West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who met Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week.
At least 90 Palestinians from Gaza, who were designated as stranded in third countries, reportedly arrived at the Cairo International Airport to use the snap opening of Rafah and pay a visit there. The sources said another 120 Palestinians were expected to land later. Israel says the flow of goods into Gaza has been increasing gradually since the war.
The teen from northern Gaza was recruited by the military wing of Hamas prior to Israel’s 2014 war against Hamas in Gaza, and underwent military training, according to the Shin Bet, which also said in a statement that he participated in actions against Israeli soldiers and assisted in building tunnels.
An Islamic State operative snuck into the Gaza Strip through Hamas’ system of underground tunnels connecting the Palestinian-ruled area with the Sinai Peninsula, Israel said on Friday.