Egypt closes border with Gaza

Posted on January 31, 2011

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By HISHAM ABU TAHA | ARAB NEWS
Published: Jan 31, 2011 00:03 Updated: Jan 31, 2011 00:03
GAZA CITY: Egypt is maintaining its closure of the border with Gaza Strip until further notice, a border official told reporters on Sunday. Rafah Crossing had been rescheduled to open on Sunday following its routine weekend (Friday and Saturday) closure.

“Egyptian officials informed the Rafah Crossing office that the border point could remain closed for several days,” said Ghazi Hamad, an official at the crossing. He urged the Egyptian officials not to close the crossing because the closure harms passengers, especially those who need to travel for medical treatment.

Hamad said that on Wednesday and Thursday the crossing point operated normally with about 500 people crossing into for Egypt and 200 arriving in Gaza. About 400 to 600 Palestinians travel via Rafah Crossing daily for different reasons, such as medical treatment, study and family visits.

The crossing was completely closed after Hamas took control of Gaza Strip in June 2007. However, it was temporarily opened for humanitarian reasons. Last year after Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish passengers on board a Turkish-flagged ship attempting to break the Gaza blockade, Egypt announced that the crossing would remain open indefinitely until further notice.

Meanwhile, Hamas security men were deployed on Sunday morning along the Gaza Strip border with Egypt to secure the area in anticipation of any attempt to violate the borders in light of the deteriorating conditions in Egypt.

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