World Bulletin/News Desk
Egyptian authorities have decided to delay the scheduled opening of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip due to "security concerns" in the Sinai Peninsula, a Palestinian official has said.
Maher Abu Sabha, head of the Palestinian border authority, told The Anadolu Agency on Monday that the Egyptian authorities had notified the Palestinian side that plans to open the crossing would be delayed.
On Sunday, Egyptian authorities decided to open the crossing for three days starting Tuesday for students, medical patients and Gazans living overseas, according to Abu Sabha.
He said on Monday that the Egyptian authorities had not told his authority when the crossing would be reopened.
Egypt, he added, had attributed the move to security conditions in the Sinai Peninsula.
The Anadolu Agency could not obtain immediate comment from the Egyptian authorities regarding Abu Sabha's assertions.
The Palestinian embassy in Cairo, meanwhile, likewise said in a statement that Egyptian authorities had said they would delay the opening due to security conditions in Sinai.
On Sunday, an Egyptian police officer in Sinai was kidnapped by gunmen, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif.
Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing, Gaza's only access to the outside world that isn't controlled by Israel, last October following an attack on a Sinai military site that left 31 Egyptian troops dead.
Egypt has tightened its grip on the border with the blockaded Gaza Strip since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi – the country's first freely elected president – by the army in mid-2013.
Repeated crossing closures have wrought havoc on the lives of the embattled coastal strip's roughly 1.9 million residents.
Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2015, 21:39