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Rafah crossing closed until further notice

Nov. 8, 2013 6:01 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2013 10:25 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities on Friday closed Rafah crossing from both sides until further notice, security sources said.

Prior to the closing, six Palestinians buses carrying 339 travelers as well as humanitarian cases crossed the terminal Friday morning. The buses were originally scheduled to travel on Thursday.

The decision follows the end of an agreement made between Palestinian and Egyptian authorities to keep the crossing open for six days ending Friday. The agreement came into effect on Saturday, but Egypt closed the crossing for one day on Tuesday for the occasion of the Islamic new year.

The crossing has frequently been shut down or operating at reduced capacity due to ongoing unrest in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and political tensions resulting from former president Mohamed Morsi's ouster in July.

The Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza's 1.8 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by Israel beginning in 2007.
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