GAZA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian official said that Egypt opened the Rafah Border Crossing with the Gaza Strip in both directions on Saturday.
Two buses have been allowed to leave Gaza, with the first carrying Egyptian nationals living in the coastal enclave and the second for humanitarian cases, Hishan Edwan, an Palestinian border crossing official, told Xinhua.
He said that people stranded at the borders are starting to return to Gaza through the Rafah crossing point, the only land crossing connecting Gaza with Egypt and the rest of the world.
Edwan revealed that the crossing will be open for three days and in addition to humanitarian cases, only students studying abroad and holders of residency status outside of Gaza are allowed to cross.
The Palestinian official hoped that Egypt would extend the deadline given the dire need to travel in Gaza.
In the early morning hours Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians already gathered at the departure hall in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, waiting for buses to transport them to the crossing.
According to the Gaza-based Birders and Crossings Commission, about 25,000 people are registered on its travel list for humanitarian reasons.
The last time Egypt opened the crossing was on Nov. 14, a move that lasted six days and even allowed a media delegation through to attend a symposium in Cairo on Nov. 22.
The Gaza Strip, with a population of nearly 2 million, has been under a tight Israeli blockade since 2007, when the Islamic Hamas movement seized control of the enclave and Egypt closed the Rafah crossing on its borders.
The relationship between Hamas and Egypt is tense as Hamas supports the ousted Egyptian Islamic president Mohamed Morsi and Egypt accuses the Islamic movement of interfering with its internal affairs.