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Egypt opens border with Gaza for one day

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CAIRO, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian authorities have opened the country's border with Gaza for one day to allow Egyptians stranded in the enclave to re-enter the country, the MENA news agency said on Tuesday.

The Rafah border crossing has remained sealed since last June, when the hard-line Islamic group Hamas took control of the territory, ousting President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

Under international agreements, the opening of Rafah can only be sanctioned by Israel with the participation of European Union observers. Last Sunday, a group of Egyptians tried to break through the border, but were stopped by police.

Some 500 Egyptians are believed to have been stranded in the enclave in late January after Palestinian militants blew holes in the border wall to allow Gaza residents to cross into Egypt to buy fuel and foodstuffs in short supply due to an Israeli embargo imposed as punishment for rocket attacks on Israeli towns. Palestinian trucks and vehicles have also been allowed to return to Gaza.

On February 4, after Egyptian security forces sealed the border wall following international pressure, violence broke out between Palestinians and Egyptian police. At least one Palestinian was killed and six injured in armed clashes at the Rafah checkpoint.

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