By Ola Atallah and Hani al-Shaer
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Egypt on Wednesday reopened its border with the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip -- in both directions -- to "humanitarian cases" and Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side of the crossing.
According to Gaza’s border authority, Egypt will open the Rafah crossing for four non-consecutive days, during which students enrolled in universities overseas, medical patients, and Palestinians holding foreign residencies will be allowed to cross the border.
Egyptian state television announced late Tuesday that the crossing would be temporarily opened on June 1 and 2 (Wednesday and Thursday) and 4 and 5 (Saturday and Sunday).
Since the ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup, Egypt has kept the border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip tightly sealed for the most part.
During 2015, the Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing for only 21 days to limited traffic, according to Gaza’s Interior Ministry.
Last month, the ministry announced that some 30,000 Gazans were desperately waiting to cross the border, including 4,000 seeking medical treatment abroad.
The long periods of closure at the crossing -- Gaza's only means of access to the outside world not under Israeli control -- have brought the coastal enclave’s 1.9 million inhabitants to the verge of humanitarian catastrophe.