Egypt reopens crossing into Gaza

The crossing has been mostly closed since June 2007

Egypt has again temporarily opened its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, allowing some Palestinians to leave the blockaded territory.
On the Egyptian side, 700 people and 10 trucks with medical aid from Arab countries were waiting to enter.
Some 550 people waited to cross the other way, with priority given to those needing urgent medical treatment.
Gaza has been blockaded by Israel, and much of the time by Egypt, for two years since Hamas took control there.
It is exactly six months since the start of Israel's military offensive in Gaza, and relations with the Palestinian Islamists of Hamas remain extremely tense.
The crossing - set to open for the next three days - is Gaza's main route to the outside world.
Orange ambulances, taxis and extra security forces made their way to the border in preparation for the latest opening of the Rafah crossing.
Among those who have been given permission to pass through are students and Palestinians needing medical treatment.
Officials attending the latest round of Palestinian unity talks will also make their way to Cairo.
Egypt's key role
Despite considerable criticism in the Arab world, the Egyptian government has kept Rafah largely shut since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007.
However, Cairo is continuing to play a significant diplomatic role, including acting as a go-between for Israel and Hamas.
In recent days there has been increased speculation about a possible deal to exchange captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for Palestinian prisoners.