Egypt postpones reopening of Rafah border crossing with Gaza

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-16 00:55:00|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GAZA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- A senior Palestinian official announced Wednesday that reopening Rafah border crossing point between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt was postponed due to special circumstances related to Egypt.

According to a reconciliation agreement reached between Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed in Cairo on October 12, Rafah crossing was scheduled to permanently operate on Nov. 15.

Over the past couple of days, we have been in contact with the Egyptian side to agree on opening Rafah crossing point Wednesday, but due to the security situation in the Peninsula of Sinai, opening the crossing was postponed," said Azzam el-Ahmad, head of Fatah delegation to the dialogue with Hamas.

According to Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal, Hamas, which had forcibly seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, agreed to transfer power to the Palestinian Authority consensus government of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

On Nov. 1 Hamas handed over power over all Gaza Strip's crossing points, which border both Israel and Egypt, including Rafah crossing point with Egypt and Erez Crossing point with Israel.

At the ceremony of handing over Rafah crossing point to the Palestinian government, Husein al-Sheikh, the minister of civil affairs and crossing points affirmed that Rafah crossing will be fully operating on Nov. 15.

Mohamad al-Magadma, the official in the Palestinian civil liaison committee, said that the Palestinian side at Rafah crossing point is fully ready, well-prepared and well-equipped to operate the crossing point of Rafah.

On Tuesday, around 90 police officers and passports employees arrived at Rafah crossing point to make the final preparations for reopening the crossing point that had been partially open to enable humanitarian cases from Gaza to travel.