World Bulletin / News Desk
As many as 8,000 Gazans have registered to cross the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, the head of the border authority at Gaza's Interior Ministry said Thursday.
Maher Abu Sabha told Anadolu Agency that the rising number of Gazans registered to cross into Egypt had prompted the border authority to stop taking applications except for emergency cases.
"Four thousand Gazans registered in a single day, while another 4,000 who had registered previously are still waiting to cross," Abu Sabha said.
Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing for three days earlier this week following 49 days of sustained closure.
The crossing, the embattled Gaza Strip's only access to the outside world, has since been resealed by Egyptian authorities.
"The border closure is a disaster for medical patients and humanitarian emergencies," said Abu Sabha.
Gazans complain that frequent border closures by Egypt, in conjunction with an eight-year-old Israeli embargo on the coastal enclave, have contributed to the strip's worsening economic and humanitarian circumstances.
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: 03 Nisan 2014, 16:19