Palestinian sources reported that the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza strip was reopened on Monday morning and will stay open until five PM.

  The sources added that the crossing is open only to allow the Palestinians trapped on the Egyptian side of the crossing to enter the Gaza strip.  

The Israeli army opened the crossing for a short time two weeks ago to allow the Palestinians who traveled from the Gaza strip to do the Muslim Hajj in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to come back to their houses in Gaza.  

Last Week, Lieutenant General Pietro Pistolese, head of the third party EU monitors at Rafah border crossing, urged the Israeli army to open the Gaza-Egypt border to the hundreds of Palestinians waiting on either side.    

Despite promises to allow third party control of the crossing point, Israel has imposed a military closure on the border 80% of the time since June 2006, and barred the third party observers from reaching their posts.  

Several people have died while waiting to pass, and the Red Cross has had to administer basic foodstuffs and medical care to travelers, many of whom are journeying to get medical supplies that are not available to them in Gaza.