Gaza official urges Egypt to open Rafah crossing

Palestinian Interior Ministry warned that the Egyptian closure of the terminal will "aggravate the suffering of thousands of patients and students".

Gaza official urges Egypt to open Rafah crossing

World Bulletin/News Desk

A spokesman for the Palestinian Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip called on Egypt to urgently re-open the Rafah border crossing, citing "thousands of humanitarian cases" that wait for the reopening of the terminal.

"The Rafah crossing has been closed for nine consecutive days while there are thousands of humanitarian cases, including students and medical patients, who wait for its reopening," spokesperson Iyad al-Bozom said in a statement.

Late last month, Egypt closed the Rafah crossing following an attack on an army site in its restive Sinai Peninsula, which shares borders with Gaza. The October 24 attack left at least 31 troops dead and many wounded.

"The Rafah crossing has been closed for a total of 189 days this year," al-Bozom said, calling on the Egyptian authorities to help ease the suffering inflicted on the people of Gaza as a result of the ongoing blockade on the strip, especially now that Israel had closed the two crossings under its control.

Israel had closed the Kerem Shalom, Gaza's only functioning commercial crossing, and Erez Crossing, which is used for the movement of persons between Gaza and the West Bank, leaving Gaza completely blockaded.

Blockaded by Israel – by air, land and sea – since 2007, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world.

Six of these crossings are controlled by Israel, while the seventh – the Rafah crossing – is controlled by Egypt, which keeps it tightly sealed for the most part.

Israel sealed four of its commercial crossings with Gaza in June 2007 after Palestinian resistance movement Hamas wrested control of the strip from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

As it currently stands, Israeli authorities allow the Kerem Shalom crossing – which links Gaza to both Israel and Egypt – to operate for commercial purposes.

The Gaza-Israel Erez crossing, meanwhile, is generally devoted to the movement of individuals between Gazaand the occupied West Bank.

On Sunday, Israel closed both crossings, citing a rocket attack from the Palestinian enclave.


Last Mod: 02 Kasım 2014, 14:10
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