Egypt to reopen Gaza border: Palestinian diplomat

Gaza, Sep 15 (IANS) Egypt has promised to reopen Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip "soon", a Palestinian diplomat said Sunday.

However, Barakat Al-Farra, the Palestine's Ambassador to Egypt, did not give a specific date for the reopening of the only passenger border crossing bypassing Israel, Xinhua reported.

Egypt shut down the crossing Wednesday after a deadly car bomb explosion at a security building on the Egyptian side of Rafah town in the Sinai peninsula.

The closure of Rafah virtually cuts Gaza, home to 1.7 million Palestinians, from the outside world as travelling through crossings with Israel is strictly limited to patients, foreigners and some businessmen.

"There are Egyptian assurances that the crossing will reopen soon," Al-Farra told a local FM radio broadcasting from Gaza.

He however said travelling will remain restricted to humanitarian cases, holders of foreign passports, and students "until the situation in Sinai improves".

Since former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi was toppled July 3 this year, the Rafah crossing has been operating at less than half its capacity.

The restrictions at Rafah are, in part, due to the increasing insurgency in Sinai by extremist groups and Hamas's close ties with the ousted Egyptian president.


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.