Sharm Al Shaikh, Egypt: A security official says Egypt will keep its border with Gaza open indefinitely, easing the blockade on the territory's Palestinians and giving them a crucial link to the outside the world.

Egypt and Israel have maintained the blockade since Hamas took control of Gaza three years ago. But the official says the closure has failed to achieve its goals, including the release of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006.

Israel's deadly raid on an international flotilla of activists trying to break the blockade by sea last week brought attention to the issue.

The Egyptian official spoke on Monday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.