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European delegation inspects damages to Rafah crossing

A European delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip to inspect the extent of the damages around the Rafah crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip with Egypt, as a result of Israel’s recent military operation.

A Palestinian source told an Anadolu news agency correspondent that “two delegates from the European Union Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah crossing point (EUBAM Rafah) arrived Thursday to the Gaza Strip through the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, and inspected the mission’s headquarters, which was shelled by Israel and met with the director of the Palestinian side.”

The Israeli military shelled the Rafah crossing three times, destroying EUBAM’s headquarters, the telecommunication towers, the ambulance and civil defence quarters and causing material damages to several facilities at the crossing, including the departures and arrivals halls and the management quarters.

The source, who requested anonymity, said the delegation inspected the situation at the Rafah crossing, and were briefed on the extent of the physical damage.

The source pointed out that the delegation condemned the Israeli bombing of the EUBAM headquarters, and stated that the mission is a civil organ specializing in travel procedures and has nothing to do with any military purposes.

The Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) signed between the Palestinian Authority and Israel in November 2005 stipulates the presence of a European observation mission to supervise the movement of Gazans through the Rafah crossing.

Israel has prevented European observers from entering Gaza since 2006, following the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Ever since; the crossing remains partially open, with frequent closures.

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