Friday, August 10, 2012

Egypt reopens Rafah crossing after Sinai deadly attack

The Rafah border crossing (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Egypt has reopened the Rafah border crossing, shut after 16 Egyptian border guards were killed during an attack in the Sinai Peninsula.

The move came on Friday, a day after Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, urged Cairo to reopen the vital border crossing.

“I call upon my brother, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to open the Rafah crossing, to regain a lifeline for Gaza,” Reuters quoted democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as saying on Thursday.

“Gaza could never be anything but a source of stability for Egypt,” Haniyeh added.

Egypt closed the Rafah crossing after an attack on a security checkpoint in Sinai, which left at least 16 Egyptian border guards dead and seven others injured on Sunday night.

On Monday, an official statement by the Islamic resistance movement condemned the attack and dismissed the idea that militants from inside Gaza may have been involved.

Some 800 people normally leave for Egypt and beyond through the Rafah crossing, the only passageway leading to the rest of the world for most Gazans.

Israel imposed an all-out land, aerial, and naval blockade of the Gaza in June 2007 after the democratically-elected Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas took over the administration of the territory.

The siege has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the impoverished enclave, having turned the territory into the world’s largest open-air prison.

Impoverished Palestinians are forced to use underground tunnels to bring in essential supplies including food, fuel and medicine.

The Rafah crossing is the Palestinian territory's only crossing outside Israeli control.

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