Rafah crossing remains closed

Rafah crossing remains closed
A passport control officer of the Palestinian Authority stamps passports of passengers on their way to cross the border to the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing with Egypt, in Rafah, Gaza Strip. (AP)
Updated 25 November 2017

Rafah crossing remains closed

Rafah crossing remains closed

CAIRO: The main gateway for Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip was closed following the attack on a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
The Rafah crossing was expected to open temporarily on Saturday. But following the attack, travelers were told they would not be able to cross after all.
On Saturday, guards were the only people to be seen at the crossing. Ruling party Hamas said 30,000 people have been waiting for a chance to travel. Thus far, Rafah has opened for people exiting Gaza only 17 days this year.
Egypt has kept Rafah largely sealed off since 2013 while authorities have been fighting an insurgency.
Hamas, which has wielded power in Gaza since it ousted forces loyal to the Western-backed Fatah faction in 2007, condemned the Sinai attack.
Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah agreed to hand over responsibility for the Rafah crossing to a unity government as part of a deal brokered by Cairo last month.
Citing security concerns, Egypt and Israel maintain tight restrictions at their Gaza borders.
Hamas quit positions at three Gaza crossings and handed them over to Palestinian Authority employees on Nov. 1, in a step seen as vital to encouraging Israel and Egypt to ease their restrictions on the movement of goods and people.