Egypt closes Rafah crossing after five-day opening

Egypt closed the Rafah crossing with the Gaza on Monday evening after a five-day opening to allow humanitarian cases through, the Ma'an news agency reported.

Iyad al-Bizm, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior in Gaza, told Ma'an that Egyptian authorities had stopped the influx of people trying to leave the enclave through the Rafah crossing, while keeping it open for people entering Gaza.

The Palestinian official said that 3,099 people left Gaza during the five-day opening, including 546 Egyptian passport holders.

Al-Bizm added that the humanitarian crisis was worsening in Gaza, and called on Egypt to extend the opening of the crossing.

Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times since that specific attack, the last time being in early June.

Sources in Egypt have revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal October 2014 attack, which killed 30 soldiers, through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.

In the past, Hamas has blamed Israel or Egypt for the closure of the crossing, but it has recently changed its tune and is now blaming the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), led by chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214509

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