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October 14, 2013 10:04 am

Egypt Closes Rafah Crossing for Muslim Festival

avatar by Zach Pontz

A man stands near the Rafah crossing into Gaza. Photo: wiki commons.

Egypt has announced that its border crossing with the Gaza Strip will be closed for the week because of the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, but gave no specific reason for the measure, state news agency MENA reported.

The Rafah crossing is the only gateway to Egypt for the Palestinian Arabs living in the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian authorities have restricted access to the crossing since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July, as the Egyptian army battles Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula, some of whom allegedly enter the region via the Gaza Strip.

The operating hours of the crossing have been limited to four hours per day, six days per week – down from nine hours daily, according to a UN report. Only authorized travelers – foreign nationals, visa holders and medical patients  – are allowed to cross the border.

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