Egypt closes border with Gaza after three-day opening

Ahram Online , Saturday 30 May 2015

Rafah Crossing, operating in one direction for outbound traffic, saw the passage of 1,413 Palestinians to their homes in Gaza

Palestinians walk toward the Rafah border crossing (Photo: AP)

Egypt closed its border crossing with Gaza after a three-day opening period that saw the passage of at least 1,413 Palestinians to their homes in Gaza.

Rafah Crossing, which was closed since March, was initially scheduled to open for two days. However, Egyptian authorities extended the opening by one day to allow the passage of stranded Palestinians to Gaza.

Also during the three days, 3,367 tons of construction materials as well as 100 chairs for the disabled passed into Gaza, security sources at Rafah told Egypt's state news agency MENA.

The crossing, which is the only passage to the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel, was operating in one direction, for outbound traffic only.

Egyptian authorities have kept the frontier mostly closed since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, citing security concerns in the Sinai Peninsula where troops are battling an Islamist insurgency.

The Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis militant group have claimed responsibility for the majority of attacks in North Sinai.

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