Palestinians jam Gaza border temporarily opened by Egypt Feb 09, 2018 0 144 12345 * Cairo cites security concerns for keeping frontier closed* Rafah crossing was once Gaza's gateway to the world* Egypt has opened the frontier periodically* Israel also maintains tight restrictions at Gaza borderBy Nidal al-MughrabiGAZA, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Thousands of Palestinian travellers gathered at Gaza's border crossing with Egypt on Thursday hoping for a brief chance to leave after Cairo temporarily opened a frontier it largely keeps closed as it battles an Islamist insurgency on the other side.Israel also maintains tight restrictions on its border with the Gaza Strip, meaning the 2 million Palestinians who live there are rarely able to leave the densely-populated enclave in which the Hamas Islamist movement is the dominant armed force.In a wheelchair and helped by his wife and daughter, 74-year-old Awni An-Najar said at Rafah crossing that he sought to enter Egypt for treatment of his broken hip."Patients must be allowed to travel freely. I want to be able to walk again,"he said.Egypt tends to open the frontier temporarily a few times a year, usually with short notice and little explanation. The latest opening began on Wednesday with no advanced announcement at all.The Palestinian embassy in Cairo"extended gratitude to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi for his care to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people,"it said in a statement.The Egyptian foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.It was only the second time in more than a decade that the border was opened while unarmed security officers of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), rather than Hamas, guarded the Palestinian side.A reconciliation agreement in October between Hamas and the rival Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave the PA control of the Rafah crossing for the first time since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007. Egypt opened the border briefly in December.Gazans have hoped PA control could be a step towards the permanent reopening of the frontier, ending a state of de facto blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt for security reasons, which has destroyed the territory's economy leaving Gaza with the world's highest unemployment rate according to the World Bank.So far, Egyptian authorities say a permanent opening of the border depends on security on the Egyptian side, where they have been battling an increasingly violent Islamist insurgency.Because of the lack of prior notice, only several dozen travellers arrived in time to cross on Wednesday. A far bigger crowd turned up on Thursday. Rafah will close again after nightfall on Friday.Egypt has accused Hamas in the past of aiding the Sinai insurgents, an allegation the movement denies. In recent months, Hamas has stepped up security along the border.(Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Peter Graff) Pages 12 POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES In Oman desert, European venture sets sights on Mars Feb 09, 2018 0 88 Suicide attack kills one in Iraq's Ramadi city Feb 09, 2018 0 64 Russia to boost Sudan military, says President Bashir Feb 09, 2018 0 78 Sudan seizes three newspapers for covering protests Khartoum: Sudanese security agents seized the entire print-runs of three newspapers on Thursday after they covered food price protests in Khartoum and other towns, their editors said. Opposition groups have .. Israel does not want escalation over border wall, US to Lebanon Reuters BEIRUT/JERUSALEM A US envoy has assured Lebanon that Israel does not seek an escalation between the countries following a surge in hostile rhetoric, Lebanese and Israeli officials said on Thursday. The .. Israel SC upholds conviction for Palestinian teen's murder Jerusalem: Israel's supreme court on Thursday rejected an appeal by three members of a Jewish gang convicted of kidnapping, beating and burning alive a Palestinian teenager in 2014. The decision upholds life .. Libyan commander wanted by ICC freed after protests Reuters BENGHAZI A Libyan commander wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over a series of summary executions was released on Thursday, a day after handing himself in to military authorities in eastern .. Human smugglers in Libya have links to security services: UN Reuters UNITED NATIONS Most armed groups involved in human smuggling and trafficking in Libya have links to the country's official security institutions, sanctions experts said in a confidential report to a UN ..