Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hamas calls on Egypt interim govt to reopen Rafah

Palestinians on the Palestinian side of Rafah on August 20

Source: Press TV

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called on the Egyptian interim government to reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip.

Hamas deputy foreign minister, Ghazi Hamed, said on Friday that some 1,200 people were using the crossing each day while the former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was in power but after he was removed by the military on 3 July the number fell to about 50 a day.

Egyptian officials closed the border crossing on August 19 after at least 25 policemen were killed in an ambush near the border by suspected militants.

He told state-run BBC that thousands of Palestinians, including students and medical patients, wanting to leave or enter Gaza have been stuck due to the closure of the key border crossing.

Rafah terminal is Gaza's sole gateway to the outside world bypassing Israel.

Many people in the blockaded coastal enclave avoid traveling through the Israeli controlled Erez crossing in northern Gaza.

Many of those stranded in Gaza stand to lose their jobs or their chances to obtain education in foreign countries because they overstayed in Gaza.

After Morsi's ouster the Egyptian military tightened the restriction in Rafah and created hardships for Gazans.

Observers say that the military -controlled government in Egypt has only more trouble in store for the 1.7 million people living in Gaza.

People here say that the closure of the Rafah crossing has increased their suffering and will leave them at the mercy of the Israeli-controlled crossing


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