Egyptian authorities have been keeping the Rafah border crossing closed to passenger movement, in both directions, since last October.The director of border crossings in the Gaza Strip, Mr. Maher Abu Sabha, was not able to provide any information regarding the re-opening of the crossing in the near future.

According to Al Ray, the Palestinian ambassador to Egypt stated that contact has been made at the highest levels, in order to free up the crossing for stranded Palestinians trying to return to Gaza.

He requested that Egypt open the crossing for such special cases, as a number of Palestinians remain on the Egyptian side of the border following treatment for injuries sustained during Israel’s recent assault on the region.

Following an attack in Sinai, late last month, which killed 33 Egyptian soldiers,the country shut down Rafah and began implementing a contingency plan for establishing a buffer zone between the Palestinian side of Rafah and the Egyptian side.

(Rafah crossing is the main border crossing that lies on the 12-km Gaza—Egypt border.