Egypt blocks border crossing with Gaza

Gaza, Sep 8 (IANS) Egyptian authorities have abruptly shut down a terminal shared with the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip, citing security reasons, a Hamas official said.

The Rafah terminal on the border with Gaza Strip was closed Saturday, reports Xinhua.

Maher Abu Sabha, chief of the Hamas-run crossings authorities in Gaza, said Egypt informed the Palestinian side that the crossing was closed.

"The Egyptian side told us that the sudden closure of the crossing was due to the tense security situation in the Sinai peninsula and the Egyptian side of Rafah city," he said.

Since June 30, when President Mohamed Morsi was ousted, Egypt has been only partially opening the crossing due to the deteriorating security situation.

Abu Sabha criticised the slow movement and decrease in the number of hours for which the border stays open. He called on Egypt to permanently open the crossing for humanitarian reasons.

Hamas officials in Gaza said the number of passengers who travel through the Rafah border crossing daily has dropped from 1,200 people to 300 people.

Earlier, the UN expressed concern over the restrictions imposed on the Rafah border crossing, and called on both Egypt and Israel to permanently open all Gaza Strip crossing points.

Updated Date: Sep 08, 2013 19:00 PM

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