Egypt to close Rafah crossing with Gaza

The decision to close the border from Monday was made for security reasons

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Reuters
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Egypt is to close the Rafah crossing on its border with the Gaza Strip until further notice on Monday, security sources said.

Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls Gaza, said it had been told by Egypt of the decision to shut the crossing in both directions.

Egyptian security sources said the crossing was closed for security reasons after an escalation on Saturday between Israel and Hamas, with Israeli aircraft striking sites in Gaza after gunfire across the border earlier in the day.

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

Egypt opened the crossing indefinitely 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 building materials through Rafah after helping to broker a truce between the two sides.

Updated: August 22, 2021, 8:56 PM