CAIRO: Egyptian authorities have closed the Rafah Border Crossing with the Gaza Strip after monitoring violations by Hamas.
The border was shut to goods and vehicles, and those stranded will continue to be deported until Thursday morning.
The move came two days after the Palestinian Embassy in Egypt announced that the Egyptian authorities had informed it to resume work at the Rafah crossing in both directions for the travel and return of citizens for the four days from Monday to Thursday, provided that travelers carried a certificate proving that they had tested negative for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“On Tuesday morning, several buses carrying passengers from the Gaza Strip left through the Rafah land crossing, on the first day of opening it exceptionally in both directions, while the returnees’ buses arrived,” a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Interior said.
Groups that had fulfilled the rules and conditions of departure would be allowed to do so, most prominently patients who needed treatment in Egypt and abroad, university students, and holders of residency in foreign countries.
The border closure also comes just days after a Hamas delegation left Cairo, where it had held a series of meetings with Egyptian officials about Palestinian reconciliation, ways to end the division and achieve national partnership, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and efforts to alleviate the suffering of its residents.