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Egypt closes Rafah crossing ahead of revolution anniversary

A view of Rafah Crossing Point is seen as Interior Ministry members standing in front of the entrance, on January 07, 2019 in Gaza City, Gaza. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry on Monday assumed responsibility of managing the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. The move came one day after the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) suddenly withdrew its personnel from the terminal. ( Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency )
Rafah Crossing Point in Gaza 7 on January 2019 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt has today closed the Rafah crossing in both directions stopping Palestinians from travelling in and out of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The move comes just one day before Egypt celebrates eight years since its January revolution which saw long term dictator Hosni Mubarak step down.

The crossing is usually closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Rafah crossing has operated in one direction only since 7 January when Palestinian Authority employees withdrew from it and handed over power to the Ministry of Interior in Gaza.

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.

This year however has seen the crossing opened almost continuously since Ramadan in May.


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