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Thousands trapped in Gaza as Egypt closes the Rafah crossing again

Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing
Palestinians wait in line to cross to Egypt following the opening of Rafah border gate in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 12 April 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing after temporarily opening it for three days, the administration of the crossing said in a statement yesterday.

The statement said that 233 Palestinians crossing the crossing while it was open, 89 returned to the besieged coastal enclave and three travellers were returned back to Gaza for “unknown reasons”.

Egypt has been closing the crossing since the start of the Israeli siege on the enclave in 2007. It is intermittently opened to allow a few Palestinians to leave or return to Gaza every few months.

So far this year, the crossing has only been opened for 20 days.

Read: Palestinians stranded after Egypt closes Rafah crossing

The Rafah crossing it the main terminal through which Gaza’s more than two million Palestinians can travel to the world. More than 30,000 are in urgent need to travel either for work, study, family reunions or treatment.

Gaza’s other crossing, Erez, is policed by Israeli occupation forces and only internationals and Palestinians with special permits are allowed access through it.

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