Rafah crossing with Gaza was closed again by Egyptian authorities, on Friday. The passage had been opened for one day to allow injured Palestinians to seek treatment.’We received orders from the Egyptian authorities to close the Rafah crossing after we partially opened it on Thursday,’ Iyad al-Buzm, spokesman for Gaza’s Ministry of Interior, told Ma’an News Agency.
The decision was condemned by the Ministry, Ma’an reports, as buses and ambulances had been prepared to transport wounded Palestinians via the crossing. Only 11 people were able to make the journey, after Egypt opened Rafah for one day, Thursday, it was added.
During the 2012 assault on Gaza by Israel, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi had condemned ‘Israeli aggression’, even sending his prime minister to the region in a show of support for Palestinians.
Since Morsi’s ousting in July of 2013, Cairo has further strengthened the siege on Gaza, with a focus on tunnels which pass between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, accusing Hamas of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in attacks which occurred inside Egypt.
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, leading to frequent humanitarian crises. With Egyptian backing, Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, following a political victory by Hamas.
Egypt urged Israel and Hamas, on Wednesday, to end the escalating conflict but offered no hope of any Cairo-mediated truce.
Egypt’s frequent closure of the crossing, the only border through which Palestinians can exit Gaza, has pushed an already dire humanitarian situation in the besieged coastal enclave to its utter limits.
Over 600 Palestinians have been injured in Israel’s current assault on the Gaza Strip, according to Ma’an. Hospitals struggle to cope with the growing number of casualties.