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Egypt closes Rafah crossing for 1 day

July 12, 2013 11:39 A.M. (Updated: July 13, 2013 6:04 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing on the Gaza border on Friday, but will partially reopen the terminal Saturday.

When operating on its regular schedule, the Rafah terminal closes on Friday for the local weekend. Palestinian officials had hoped that Egypt would open the crossing on Friday due to the large volume of passengers who are still stranded after the terminal closed for five days.

Rafah crossing will reopen on Saturday for humanitarian cases and for those who live abroad, officials in Gaza told Ma'an.

Egyptian authorities abruptly shut down the crossing -- the only terminal for passengers not controlled by Israel -- on July 5 as militant attacks intensified in Sinai after the head of Egypt's army ousted President Mohamad Mursi.

The terminal reopened Wednesday after a five-day closure to allow stranded passengers to cross the border.

Due to Israel's land, sea and air blockade, the terminal is the only border crossing that most of Gaza's 1.7 million people can use to leave the enclave.
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