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Egypt closes Rafah crossing indefinitely

April 14, 2010 12:02 P.M. (Updated: April 15, 2010 12:35 P.M.)
Al-Arish– Ma'an – Egyptian authorities announced Wednesday morning that the Rafah crossing into Gaza would be closed to travelers indefinitely.

The crossing is usually opened on Wednesdays and Thursdays to allow Palestinian patients who have completed their treatment in Egypt to return to Gaza. However, Egyptian authorities gave no explanation as to the decision's motives.

Mustafa Al-Tayeh, an Arab Doctors Federation official, said authorities informed him that the decision would be implemented for an "indefinite period of time."

At-Tayeh added that medical aid was due to enter Gaza on Wednesday, but would be prohibited as a result of the closure.

Egypt opens the Rafah crossing haphazardly, often causing Palestinian patients and students to become stranded on either side.

On 1 March, Egyptian authorities opened the crossing for a three-day period, following a two-month closure. The crossing has only remained opened two days a week and only into Gaza.
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