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7 Palestinians killed in new Israeli attacks on southern Gaza Strip
Ministry: Rafah crossing closed for 81 days in 2014
Published Friday 18/04/2014 (updated) 23/04/2014 22:34
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Palestinians wait for relatives coming from Egypt at the Rafah
border crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on
March 9, 2014 (AFP Said Khatib)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing with Gaza closed for a total of 81 days in 2014, Gaza's Ministry of Interior said Friday.

The near constant closure of the crossing has exacerbated the crisis in Gaza and prevented thousands of passengers from traveling, the ministry said.

Human rights groups must pressure Egypt to open the crossing, the ministry added, noting that it has been closed for 81 out of a total of 108 days in 2014.

The crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza's 1.7 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by Israel in 2007.

After a military coup last July, which deposed president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's army has repeatedly closed the Rafah border crossing and destroyed hundreds of tunnels that Gazans used for years to import fuel, building materials and other goods.

In March, Hamas described the Rafah closure as a "crime against humanity," and the UN criticized it for its effect on "the civilian population, including patients awaiting medical treatment."
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1 ) Outlier / USA
18/04/2014 17:48
It never pays to anger the neighbors, and Hamas has done so with its tunnel trade and support of jihadists in Sinai and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt proper.

2 ) kathleen kennedy bartlett / Canada
19/04/2014 03:27
It is not in my understanding in what is to be gained by the closing the Rafah border crossing. To deny the Gazans those items much needed to exist does not justify the closure. My respect for the Egyptian army authorities is nil.

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
19/04/2014 11:33
No - Human rights groups must pressure Hamas to accpet international laws. Instead of spending all its money on weapons, hr groups should pressure Hamas to spend money on medical care. Hamas forces Gaza to be the welfare child of the Islamofascists. Hamas is the problem.
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