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Palestinians Formally Open Own International Border Crossing in Gaza Strip

  • VOA News

Palestinians have formally opened their own internationally-monitored border crossing, linking the Gaza Strip with Egypt and the outside world. In a festive ceremony in Rafah Friday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas cut a ribbon, opening the terminal under banners emblazoned in Arabic describing the crossing as the Palestinians' gate to freedom. Israel closed the crossing in September after withdrawing from Gaza. Cross border movement at the terminal beginning today (Saturday) will be supervised by European Union monitors as part of this month's U.S.-brokered deal. No Israelis will be present, but a joint team of Israelis and Palestinians will be able to monitor the border using security cameras installed at the crossing. Marc Otte, the EU's special envoy to the Mideast, told the hundreds assembled at the inauguration that the crossing will help transform borders into bridges with Gaza's neighbors, including Israel.
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