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Thousands of Palestinians Jam Besieged Gaza Border

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Local Editor

Thousands of Palestinian gathered at Gaza's border crossing with Egypt Thursday hoping for a chance to leave after Cairo temporarily opened a frontier it largely keeps closed.

Gaza

This comes as "Israel" continue to maintain tight restrictions on the besieged border with the Gaza Strip, meaning the 2 million Palestinians who live there are rarely able to leave the densely populated enclave.

In a wheelchair and helped by his wife and daughter, 74-year-old Awni al-Najar said at the Rafah crossing he sought to enter Egypt for treatment of a broken hip. "Patients must be allowed to travel freely. I want to be able to walk again," he said.

Egypt tends to open the frontier temporarily a few times a year, usually with short notice and little explanation. The latest opening began Wednesday with no advance notice.

The Palestinian Embassy in Cairo "extended gratitude to President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi for his care to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people," it said in a statement.

Gazans have hoped the PA control could be a step toward the permanent reopening of the frontier, ending a blockade imposed by the Zionist entity and Egypt for security reasons that has destroyed the territory's economy, leaving Gaza with the world's highest unemployment rate according to the World Bank.

Because of the lack of prior notice, only several dozen travelers arrived in time to cross Wednesday. A far bigger crowd turned up Thursday. Rafah will close again after nightfall Friday.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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