An Egyptian soldier keeps watch at the closed Rafah border crossing, between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
CAIRO - 22 July 2018: The Egyptian authorities announced Sunday that it will close Rafah Border Crossing on Monday; for the anniversary of July 23 Revolution, to be re-opened on Tuesday.
Rafah Border Crossing connects between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Palestine’s Gaza Strip, used usually by Palestinians to get in/out the strip for educational, health and other humanitarian purposes.
On June 21, the crossing was announced to be operating “until further notice”. A Rafah Border Crossing official said that the crossing will stay open until Eid Al-Adha, one of the most important religious feasts, which will start this year on August 21, according to Egyptian media reports, adding that the crossing is being prepared to open permanently.
Palestinian Ambassador in Cairo, Diab al-Louh, expressed his gratitude for President Sisi and Egyptian authorities for the decision, reiterating that the Egyptian leadership’s decision to ease the burdens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip comes within the framework of Egypt’s continuous efforts to back the Palestinian people.
Louh affirmed that the crossing still receives travelers in both directions and that Egypt still opens its doors to the injured Palestinians, treating them in Egyptian hospitals.
President Sisi issued directives in May to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah Border Crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan that ended on June 14.
"I issued directives to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah Border Crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan in a bid to relieve some of the burdens suffered by our brothers in the Gaza strip,” the Egyptian leader posted on Facebook and Twitter.
The Rafah crossing is mainly specialized for individual movements across borders, and was being prepared for the transfer of goods between the two countries.
The Egyptian government usually opens the crossing for humanitarian cases and the transfer of food and humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip.