World Bulletin / News Desk
Egyptian authorities continue to close down the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip for the 26th day in a row, the Gaza Interior Ministry said Saturday.
In a statement, the border crossings authority, an affiliate of the Gaza Interior Ministry, said that Egyptian authorities have not given any reason for shutting the terminal.
The authority said the continued closure of the crossing aggravates the suffering of thousands of Gazan patients, students and residents who work abroad.
It went on to say that 9000 patients had registered to seek medical treatment outside Gaza and "are waiting for the crossing to reopen".
The border crossings authority said earlier that it stopped accepting applications from people who want to travel outside Gaza, except for patients in emergencies due to a rise in the number of people seeking to travel.
Gazans complain that frequent border closures by Egypt, in conjunction with an eight-year-old Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave, have contributed to the strip's worsening economic and humanitarian conditions.
Egypt has tightened its grip on its border with Gaza since last July, when the army ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president.
Egyptian authorities accuse Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007, of interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs and carrying out attacks inside the country – charges Hamas emphatically denies.Last Mod: 26 Nisan 2014, 12:13