Gazans continue to suffer from closure of Rafah crossing along Egypt
Over thirteen thousand people are stranded in the Gaza Strip due to the closure of Rafah crossing by the Egyptian military. Stranded people include chronic patients, students and foreign nationals.Egyptian military restrictions along the Egypt’s northern border escalated following the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi last year.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Rafah crossing was open for just about two weeks this year. Palestinians expect the crossing to fully reopen following the formation of a new Palestinian government.Hamas movement said the 2005 agreement on the Rafah crossing is old and unworkable. That agreement was reached after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. At that time the Palestinian side of the crossing was operated by the Palestinian Authority, under monitoring of the European Union and remote monitoring through cameras and computers by Israeli security personnel. Israelis used to decide who can pass through it and who cannot. Following the inauguration of a new passenger terminal in Rafah on Tuesday Hamas Prime Minister had this to say. Experts say the Israeli blockade and the Egyptian military restrictions have placed over 1.8 million Gazans in the largest open-air prison in the world.