Hamas warns of a 'humanitarian crisis' if Rafah crossing to Gaza is not re-opened

Ahram Online, Thursday 1 Aug 2013

Hamas Foreign Ministry warns of possible humanitarian crisis in Gaza Strip from 'the closure of the Rafah crossing'

Rafah crossing
Rafah border crossing on Egypt-Gaza borders (Photo: Reuters)

The Hamas Foreign Ministry on Thursday warned of a possible humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip caused by "the closure of the Rafah crossing." The Ministry called for the reopening of the crossing to all goods and passengers travelling to the Strip, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

"All crossings to the Gaza Strip must remain open," affirmed the press statement, pointing out that the Rafah crossing is, "Gaza's only gate onto the world after the Israeli occupation blocked all other entry points."

The statement added that working hours for the Rafah crossing had been reduced from 9 to 4 hours, after the crossing was reopened by Egyptian authorities, leading to an average of only 150 Palestinians leaving the Strip daily.

Passage through the crossing is limited to Arabs, foreigners, Palestinians with foreign citizenships and a few Palestinian patients, noted the Ministry, condemning the closure as a breach of the fundamental right of free movement.

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