(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

The Rafah terminal has been reopened today for the entry of Palestinians into the Gaza Strip. The reopening follows the rebuilding of the Rafah terminal, security assessments, and measures taken to ensure the protection of the terminal and those using it.

The terminal was closed on December 12, 2004, as a result of a coordinated attack on an IDF post that secured it. Five IDF soldiers were killed and five others wounded in the attack. Both the Egyptian and Palestinian authorities were notified prior to the closing of the terminal in order to prevent peoples’ arrival.

The reopening of the terminal will allow the return to the Gaza Strip of thousands of pilgrims that left for Mecca roughly two weeks ago. A special humanitarian effort was made, following the attack, to allow the freedom of religious ritual to Muslim Palestinians who wanted to make their pilgrimage to Mecca.