EL-ARISH, Egypt — Egyptian officials say the country has opened its border with the Gaza Strip for the first time this year.

The two officials said Wednesday the Rafah crossing point would operate for three days on a humanitarian basis. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief the media.

The Palestinian embassy in Cairo confirmed the opening of Gaza’s main gateway to the outside world.

Thousands of Gaza residents are on travel lists — most of them medical patients, students and holders of residency permits of other countries. Only a few thousand will make it out in the time allotted.

The announcement comes amid warnings of a health-care crisis in Gaza, home to 2 million people.

Egypt has kept Rafah mostly closed since Hamas took over the territory in 2007.

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ASHRAF SWEILAM
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