Israel: Border Opening 'Dangerous Development'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Some Israeli officials are calling the re-opening of Egypt's border crossing with Gaza a dangerous development. 

The Rafah border crossing officially opened on Saturday for the first time in four years. Egypt closed the crossing in 2007 when the Islamic group Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.   

Following the Hamas take over, the government of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak closed the crossing but allowed limited access into Egypt for humanitarian cases and certain people like students.    

Under the new system, Egypt lifted most of the travel restrictions.  The new rules will allow thousands of Palestinians access into the North African nation. 

Saturday's opening is seen as a gesture by the new Egyptian government toward Hamas and heralds closer ties with the terrorist organization. 

Rafah is now the main link between Gaza and the outside world.  While Israel still controls Gaza's main cargo crossing and maintains a naval blockade to prevent weapons into Gaza, Israel fears this new link will allow a greater number of both terrorists and weapons into the region. 

In March, the Jewish state intercepted a ship with 50 tons of weapons bound for Hamas.  For years, the terrorist group has used an elaborate tunnel system to smuggle weapons into Gaza.  

In the past few years, thousands of rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist groups. 

Egypt's decision to open its border is designed to boost the unity agreement it mediated last month between Palestinian rivals, Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. 

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