Abbas urges Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing

imgPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on Egypt to reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip after six days of closure.

Abbas discussed issue, which affected students, patients and humanitarian workers, with Mohamed Tuhami, chief of the Egyptian security intelligence services, who promised to solve the problem within a few days.

Earlier in the day, dozens of Palestinian students stranded in the Hamas-controlled enclave demonstrated outside the sealed-off Rafah crossing, demanding Egypt reopen it.

The border crossing is kept closed due to violence and instability in the Sinai Peninsula. Last Wednesday, Egypt shut it down after a deadly car bomb explosion at a military intelligence facility on its side of Rafah town.

Beside the closure of the crossing, the Egyptian army destroyed dozens of smuggling tunnels underneath the borderline between Egypt and Gaza, dealing a blow to Hamas’ financial lifeline.

In his visit to Cairo in July, Abbas said he was ready to reactivate the 2005 international protocol, which allows the crossing to remain permanently open under the presence of the Palestinian presidential guard and EU monitors.

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