Egyptian authorities have closed the main crossing to the besieged Gaza Strip following the deteriorating security situation across the North African country.
Egyptian officials closed the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip until further notice with authorities announcing that the crossing will be shut down in both directions. Egyptian security officials added that they had closed the border due to a tense situation in Sinai and a large - scale Egyptian military operation across the troubled region. Hamas officials in Gaza said the Egyptian authorities had informed the Palestinian side that the crossing was closed.
" The Egyptian side told us that the sudden closure of the crossing was due to the tense security situation in the peninsula of Sinai and the Egyptian side of Rafah city, " media outlets quoted Maher Abu Sabha, chief of the Hamas - run crossings authorities in Gaza as saying.
The crossings director also stated that the number of people traveling through the terminal has sharply fallen from 1,200 to 300 per day due to restrictions put in place by Egypt. Egypt’s closure of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip has raised major concerns among the Palestinians in the besieged enclave. Palestinians in the besieged coastal strip solely rely on the Rafah crossing to move in and out of the enclave. The Egyptian interim authorities closed the border crossing for several days after the military overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in early July. However, it was later reopened for some specific hours a day. Hundreds of 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 has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007. 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.