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Home >> World
UPDATED: 19:35, November 29, 2006
Rafah crossing shut down again after temporary opening: sources
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The Rafah Crossing on the Gaza-Egypt borders was shut down on Wednesday just one day after it was agreed to temporarily open for two days, Palestinian security sources reported.

The sources said that Israel, the Palestinians and the European Union observers had agreed to open the terminal for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday to enable people with humanitarian cases to cross through it.

However, Israel informed the EU monitors the crossing would be kept shut on Wednesday, just hours after Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar, carrying 20 million U.S. dollars, was allowed to back home through the terminal, after he wrapped up visits to Egypt and some Arab and Islamic countries.

Israel told the EU monitors that getting money into Gaza was " illegal".

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt is operated under EU observers according to an agreement between the Palestinians and Israel when Israel withdrew its troops from the border a year ago.

Israel and the West have imposed sanctions against the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)-led Palestinian government since Hamas took office in late March for its refusal to meet international demands for recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and honoring previous agreements.

The Rafah Crossing has been sealed off before travelers except for occasional openings since June 25 when militant groups captured an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid and dragged him into Gaza, sparking large-scale Israeli offensive.

On Sunday, following months of Israeli military operations, Israel and the Palestinians agreed on a ceasefire, paving the way for the Tuesday opening of the terminal.

After the opening, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya entered Egypt via the crossing, starting his seven-nation tour which takes him to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the first of its kind since he became the premier.

Source: Xinhua

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