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Egypt opens border with Gaza for first time in 2 months, temporarily allowing two-way travel

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Egypt has opened its border with the Gaza Strip for the first time in two months.

PHOTO: A Palestinian man sits on the ground next to his luggage as he waits to cross the border into Egypt, at the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug 17, 2015. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian man sits on the ground next to his luggage as he waits to cross the border into Egypt, at the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug 17, 2015. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

The Rafah border crossing opened Monday for four days, allowing Palestinians to travel in both directions. Crossing director Khaled al-Shaer says some 20,000 people have applied to exit the coastal strip. Gazans seeking medical care and students are among those expected to cross.

Rafah is Gaza's only gateway to the outside world with no Israeli control. Egypt has kept it mostly closed since the militant Hamas group seized control of the area in 2007. The closure worsened after Egypt's military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, in 2013. Hamas is an offshoot of the Brotherhood.

The crossing has been opened for a total of just 15 days this year.

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