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Egypt Closes Rafiah Crossing Yet Again

Egypt closes the Rafiah crossing with Gaza, cites concern for "the security of Palestinian citizens."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/22/2013, 6:00 AM

Egyptian soldiers in Rafiah
Egyptian soldiers in Rafiah
Flash 90

Egyptian authorities closed the Rafiah crossing with Gaza on Saturday, officials told the Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an news agency.

"Egypt is concerned about the security of Palestinian citizens as Rafiah and Sheikh Zuweid continue to blaze with explosions occurring from time to time," an Egyptian security official told Ma'an.

The Rafiah crossing had been closed for security reasons ever since the Egyptian army started a crackdown against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, but last week Egyptian authorities said they would open it for special cases Wednesday and Thursday.

There have been frequent closures of the Rafiah terminal in recent weeks due to the political unrest in Egypt and violence in the Sinai.

The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of his successor, Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt’s army has been engaging in a military offensive against Sinai terrorists, and last weekend at least 10 Islamist terrorists were killed as the army launched an air and ground assault in the Sinai.

In addition to cracking down on Sinai terrorists, Egypt’s army has also been applying pressure on Hamas, which rules Gaza and which is blamed by Egypt for being involved in teaching Islamists in Egypt how to carry out attacks. Hamas has denied the allegations.