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Egypt closes Rafah crossing once again

CAIRO, AUG 18 (DNA) – Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah border crossing today after opening it on “exceptional” grounds since Monday to allow pilgrims and humanitarian cases in and out of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Egyptian authorities closed the crossing at 15:00 local time after 1,500 returnees were allowed back into Gaza, the General Administration of Crossings said.

On the fourth day, 13 buses of humanitarian travellers left, including nine buses registered in the Ministry of the Interior’s records and four buses which were travelling under Egyptian coordination and heading to Egypt.

Rafah was opened on Monday to allow pilgrim out to head to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj as well as to allow humanitarian cases out of the Strip to seek treatment either in Egypt or further afield. Palestinians stranded in Egypt were also allowed to return to the Gaza Strip.

The Rafah crossing, Gaza’s only lifeline to the outside world, has been closed almost entirely since the military coup in Egypt ousted the country’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.






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