Egypt to close vital border crossing with Gaza

August 24, 2021 - 13:26

A spokesman for the Hamas movement says Egypt is planning to close the Rafah border crossing with the besieged Gaza Strip indefinitely starting early this week.

Iyad al-Bozom, a spokesman for the Gaza interior ministry, announced the move without elaborating on what might have triggered the closure.  

In a statement, al-Bozom said "we were informed by the Egyptian authorities that the Rafah crossing will be closed tomorrow, Monday, in both directions"

In Cairo, security sources confirmed the move, saying the crossing would be closed until further notice.

The Egyptian sources also failed to offer details regarding why the decision was made.

Egypt had ordered the Rafah crossing - the enclave's only point of entry or exit not controlled by Israel - to open in May to allow the delivery of aid.

The opening came in the aftermath of Israel's 11-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which killed at least 250 Palestinians, including 63 children.

Egypt had brokered the ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas movement, which ended the May war.

However, nearly three months later, the two million people living in the besieged Gaza Strip, also known as the world’s largest open-air prison, continue to face tight Israeli restrictions on the entry of goods into the war-torn territory, causing a major economic recession while making reconstruction impossible.

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