Gaza's borders with Egypt shut down

20:57, January 30, 2011      

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Rafah crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt is closed until a further notice, Gaza's Hamas authorities announced Sunday.

Sources from the crossing said that Egyptian policemen and passport control officers were not ready, given the turmoil that spread from Cairo until northern Sinai.

Ghazi Hamad, director of Hamas' borders and crossings administration, said in a statement that the closure of the Gazans' only gate to the world may continue for several days.

"The Egyptian authorities should wisely consider keeping the crossing open, because the closure will harm many travelers, especially patients," Hamad said.

Egypt opened the crossing on regular basis after Israel's deadly attack on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla in May. Prior to this, the crossing had been closed since Hamas took over Gaza by force in 2007.

Meanwhile, Hamas forces deployed along Gaza-Egypt border, where hundreds of underground smuggling tunnels are situated, witnesses said.

The witnesses added that Hamas prevented groups of Palestinians from infiltrating northern Sinai. They also noted that Hamas is closely monitoring the tunnels to prevent illegal movement of people.

However, some Palestinian prisoners, especially those who were held in northern Sinai prisons, escaped and managed to get to Gaza, according to security sources. Some of the prisoners were held for being involved in smuggling.

Source: Xinhua
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