Egypt closes Rafah crossing hours after opening it

Egyptian authorities abruptly close crossing between Gaza and Egypt for reasons that are unclear.

Contact Editor
Elad Benari,

Gazans waiting to cross into Egypt through Rafah crossing
Gazans waiting to cross into Egypt through Rafah crossing
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Egyptian authorities on Wednesday night abruptly closed the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt just hours after opening it, Palestinian Arab media reported.

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) mission in Cairo announced on Tuesday that the border crossing would be opened as of Wednesday for four days, according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

The reason for the closure was not clear.

Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times since that attack, mostly for the passage of humanitarian cases.

Egypt blames Hamas terrorists for providing the weapons for the lethal 2014 attack, which killed 30 soldiers, through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.

The crossing was supposed to reopen for three days soon after a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal was reached in October, but Egypt cancelled the opening following an Islamic State (ISIS) attack in northern Sinai which claimed the lives of six Egyptian soldiers.

In recent weeks, the Egyptian military has been in engaged in a massive campaign against the ISIS affiliate in Sinai, which has claimed most of the attacks in the region in recent years.








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