Gaza-Egypt border to remain closed after Sinai mosque massacre
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Gaza-Egypt border to remain closed after Sinai mosque massacre

Scheduled reopening of Rafah crossing delayed in wake of terrorists' bomb and shooting attack that killed at least 305

A view of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, under the control of the Palestinian Authority, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2017, as travelers arrive to cross. (AFP/Said Khatib)
A view of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, under the control of the Palestinian Authority, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2017, as travelers arrive to cross. (AFP/Said Khatib)

GAZA CITY — The Gaza Strip’s border crossing with Egypt that was due to reopen Saturday will remain closed until further notice following the bloody terrorist attack in neighboring Sinai, an official told AFP.

Friday’s bomb and gun assault on the Rawda mosque near North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish killed at least 305 people.

Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt had been due to reopen on Saturday for three days.

But the official in Gaza, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it will remain closed.

“The Egyptian side informed us that Rafah will not reopen on Saturday because of the tragic events in Northern Sinai,” the official added.

The border reopened last Saturday for three days for the first time since the transfer of control of Gaza crossing points from the Hamas terrorist organization to the Palestinian Authority on November 1.

Egyptians walk past bodies following a gun and bombing attack at the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometers west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, on November 24, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

It had been closed since August, and the reopening allowed patients, students and stranded people to leave the Palestinian enclave.

Gaza has been subject to an Israeli and Egyptian blockade for a decade, and for years to the almost permanent closure of its border with Egypt. Israel enforces the blockade to prevent Hamas, an Islamist terror group that seized control of Gaza in 2007 and seeks Israel’s destruction, from importing weaponry.

Hamas took power by force in June 2007 after a week of bloody clashes with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah.

The transfer of control of border crossings is a major test for a reconciliation deal reached in Cairo on October 12, after multiple previous attempts at Hamas-Fatah reconciliation over the past decade failed.

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