Palestinian sources said Egypt did not announce the closure of Rafah,
the first since the full opening of the terminal on May 28. The Hamas regime
blamed Egypt for the confrontation between Palestinians and Egyptian forces
along the border.
"We have not been notified of any reason for the closure," Hamas police
commander at Rafah, Ayub Abu Shaa, said.
Despite the resumption of operations at Rafah, Egyptian authorities have
been cautious in allowing Palestinians in the Sinai Peninsula. The sources
said Egypt has a list of 5,000 Palestinians barred from entry and was under
Israeli and U.S. pressure to again close Rafah.
On May 31, Egypt and the Hamas regime agreed to restrict the flow of
Palestinians through Rafah. Hamas, acknowledging that the terminal required
repairs, agreed that no more than 350 people per day would be allowed to
cross the border.
At the same time, the Hamas regime urged Palestinians to honor Egyptian
regulations at Rafah. The new military regime in Cairo agreed to open the
Rafah terminal as part of a reconciliation accord between Hamas and the
rival Fatah movement, which rules the West Bank.
"We urge citizens to return to the Interior Ministry as we seek to
resolve the crisis," Hamas border control director Salameh Barakeh said.