Egyptian official blames Israel for closure of Rafah terminal on Monday

An Egyptian official has affirmed that the closure of the Rafah terminal south of the Gaza Strip, the only access for its inhabitants to the outside world, was closed on Monday at the orders of the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA).

The crossing, which links the Strip to Egypt, was re-opened on Friday for two days then extended for a third day.

The unidentified official, who was quoted by Reuters news agency, said that 300 Palestinians crossed the terminal in both directions on Sunday.

He added that thousands of Palestinians wishing to head to offer the minor pilgrimage (Umra) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia were still waiting on the Palestinian side of the border with no future date fixed by the IOA for reopening it.

More than 7,000 Palestinian citizens crossed the terminal in both directions on Friday and Saturday, in what was a described as a temporary breakthrough in the case of the crossing that was closed before citizens since 25th June 2006 and was opened on few occasions.