Official source: Rafah border re-opening will be implemented in stages

Egyptian security forces intensified security presence at the Rafah border crossing after some Palestinians accused officials at the frontier of intentionally blocking the crossing.

They accused authorities of failing to announce the closure of the border and of blocking passage under the pretext of conducting construction works.

An official Egyptian source, meanwhile, said Egypt’s decision to open the border was a gesture intended to help Gaza residents, and will be implemented in stages and not all at once.

Mahmoud al-Zahhar, a Hamas leader, said there are no problems between Egyptians and Palestinians regarding the Rafah border crossing, adding that the decision to close it was to do with security issues in Sinai.

An official source at the border also said the closure was not prompted by political reasons, denying the existence of disagreements between Egyptians and Palestinian officials.

Ayyoub Abu Shar, security head of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, blamed the Egyptian side for the crisis, saying the lack of coordination with Palestinians and the failure to announce the closure led to the arrival of 400 travelers hoping to cross.

Hundreds of Palestinians broke into the Palestinian side of the crossing and amassed at the Egyptian gates on Saturday after the border was closed.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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