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Egypt closes Rafah crossing for Labour Day

May 1, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Palestinians protest against the closure of the Rafah crossing point between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip and the Israeli blockade on the territory, on 24 January 2019 in Rafah [SAID KHATIB / AFP / Getty]

Egyptian authorities yesterday announced that they would close the Rafah border crossing for one day, Maan News Agency  reported.

“The Rafah crossing will be closed in both directions all of Wednesday on the occasion of the Labour Day holiday,” the interior ministry in the occupied Gaza Strip said in a statement, explaining that the crossing “will re-open on Thursday and then close for the weekend on Friday and Saturday.”

The crossing is usually closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

The closure comes as the eighth batch of Palestinian pilgrims are expected to arrive later today from Saudi Arabia, heading back to their homes in Gaza.

The Rafah crossing has operated in one direction only since 7 January when Palestinian Authority (PA) employees withdrew from it and handed over power to Gaza’s interior ministry.

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.

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