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Egypt closes Rafah crossing for first time since 18 May

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]

Egypt today closed the Rafah crossing between the occupied Gaza Strip for three days, this is the first time the border has been closed since it was opened at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The information office of the Rafah crossing announced that the crossing would be closed in both directions for three days.

"The Egyptian authorities told us to close the Rafah crossing in both directions for three days from Friday to Sunday," the office said in a brief statement.

The statement did not give reasons for the closure.

Read: Hundreds protest against continued closure of Rafah Crossing

On 18 May, Cairo announced the opening of the crossing throughout the month of Ramadan, before announcing its extension later.

The Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip is the only land outlet to the outside world for the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian authorities have almost completely closed the crossing since July 2013 for what they have said are "security" reasons.

The Gaza Strip has enduring an 11-year Israeli siege which has limited electricity supplies and the delivery of vital medicines, leaving residents struggling to survive. The UN has warned that Gaza could become "uninhabitable" by 2020.

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AfricaEgyptIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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