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Egypt rejects UN calls to open Rafah crossing permanently

May 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Egypt has strongly rejected the United Nations calls to open Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip permanently.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said his country “strongly rejects the repeated calls” by the United Nations.

“Let’s not forget that Gaza is still under the Israeli occupation and Israel is the main party responsible for the arrival of commercial and humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” Shoukry told reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“Egypt will open Rafah crossing whenever human need emerges and the Palestinian issue is a top priority on the Egyptian agenda,” he added.

The Egyptian minister’s comments came hours after the the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged both Egypt and Israel to work to ensure the free flow of goods and people in and out of Gaza, saying that he would like to see the complete opening of all Gaza crossings and an improvement of the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Egypt opened the Rafah crossing in both directions on Wednesday and Thursday.