In a protest move, the Palestinian Authority shut down the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for several hours Tuesday.Ã‚Â The move is basically to protest Israel’s use of an X-ray chamber that gives off high radiation during security checks of Palestinians.
This crossing is the only link to the world for Gaza residents.Ã‚Â Only Gaza residents, with the exception of some internationals who willingly do it, use this crossing.Ã‚Â All travelers have to go through this device.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The chamber was set up about 40 days ago.
From the Gaza side, the crossing is run by Palestinians and Israelis, but Israeli officers have the last say in everything there, including who can go through or can not, and when the crossing will be closed or opened.
The Palestinian Authority repeatedly asked Israel to stop using the chamber, but travelers are still passing through the device, said Salim Abu Safia, the Palestinian director general of border terminals.
‘We received Israeli promises that the chamber would be dismantled. However, we have become tired of the Israeli procrastination policy, so we threatened to shut down the terminal,’ Abu Safia said.
Orly Maman, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Ports Authority, said police instructed the authority to use the X-ray machine, which she said received all the necessary permits.
While the Palestinian Authority officials and the Ministry of Health insist that this specific device can create negative impact on the passengers, Israeli sources insist that it is similar to that used at other border crossings, including Ben-Gurion International Airport.