Rafah Crossing Closed for 38-Consecutive-Days

PRESS RELEASE
Gaza Ministry of the Interior

18/03/2014

Closure of the Rafah Border Crossing by Egyptian authorities for 38-consecutive-days has reached crisis proportions, and is causing intolerable suffering for travelers across the Gaza Strip.

Since the 30 June 2013 events in Egypt the crossing has been open for only 88 days, and in 2014, for 9 days only.

Rafah Crossing

Rafah Crossing

Closing Rafah Crossing has had a catastrophic effect on medical cases, at least two of whom have died at the border in recent weeks while waiting to cross for treatment in other countries. Students are also harshly hit, unable to continue their studies abroad, traders cannot conduct their business, and residents are denied their basic right to feedom of movement across national borders.

The only Gazans who have been permitted to leave the Strip are atamireen (those going to perform Umrah), as Egyptian authorities prevent other categories of citizens from leaving through the only outlet for thousands of Palestinians.

‘Israel’ has also tightened its siege on Palestinian people, in place in the Gaza Strip since 2006, preventing the entry of essential construction materials, food imports, and materials for UN projects.

In face of this looming humanitarian catastrophe, the Palestinian government in Gaza urges the Arab league, NGOs, and human rights organisations to lobby the Egyptian authorities to open the crossing, which is the lifeline for the Palestinian enclave.

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