Egypt to close Rafah crossing with Gaza from Monday

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Palestinians in Gaza export clothes

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is to close the Rafah crossing on its border with the Gaza Strip until further notice on Monday, Egyptian security sources said.

Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls Gaza, said it had been informed by Egypt of the decision to shut the crossing in both directions, without giving details.

According to two Egyptian security sources, the closure was made for security reasons following an escalation on Saturday https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/two-palestinians-israeli-soldier-seriously-injured-gaza-crossfire-2021-08-21 between Israel and Hamas, with Israeli aircraft striking sites in Gaza after gunfire across Gaza's border with Israel earlier in the day.

Rafah is the sole crossing between Egypt and Gaza, where an Israeli-led blockade has placed severe restrictions on the movement of goods and people for years.

Egypt had opened the crossing indefinitely https://www.reuters.com/article/palestinians-politics-egypt-int-idUSKBN2A91J7 in February in what was described as an effort to encourage negotiations between Palestinian factions meeting at the time in Cairo.

Egypt kept the crossing open during and after an 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in May, delivering aid and construction materials through Rafah after helping broker a truce between the two sides.

(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan and Ali Sawafta; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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