Middle East News
Egypt, Hamas argue over Gaza border crossing
Jun 6, 2011, 11:08 GMT
Gaza City - Egypt's border crossing with the Gaza Strip remained closed Monday because of differences between Cairo and the Islamist Hamas movement ruling the strip about the proper way to operate the passage.
Hamas official Ayyoub Abu Sha'ar, the director of the crossing, told reporters in Gaza that contacts were ongoing between Hamas and Egypt, but that 'so far, we have not received any answers from the Egyptian brothers.'
He said his government wished to know why Egypt suddenly closed the crossing on Saturday, just a week after it had opened it permanently.
Egypt reopened the crossing on May 28 after four years of closure, lifting restrictions on women, children, as well as men aged over 40 or under 18. Men within that age range still need security clearance.
Gazans had widely celebrated the reopening, after the total closure which left the strip's 1.6 million Palestinians unable to move in and out of Gaza freely.
Hamas had praised the Egyptian decision as a positive step.
Salah Al-Bardaweel, a Hamas leader in Gaza, accused Washington and Israel of pressuring Egypt over the recent opening of the crossing.
'The Rafah crossing is a matter of Egyptian and Palestinian sovereignty and no external sides should intervene,' Al-Bardaweel said in a statement.
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