Palestinians: Israeli Army extended Gaza Airport Closure
Israel extended Wednesday what was promised to be a one-day closure of the Palestinian international airport in the Gaza Strip, an airport official told AFP.
The airport at Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip was closed on Monday night for the third time in a month and the army had said in a statement that it would be allowed to re-open on Tuesday. But Israel then told airport officials in writing that it could only open on Wednesday morning.
"The closure of the airport is still on. The Israelis called me late last night, after midnight and informed me that the closure is to continue today (Wednesday) until tomorrow (Thursday)," said airport general director Suliman Abu Halib.
Halib said Israeli officials gave no reason for the extension and he doubted that Israel would allow the airport to open on Thursday.
"I cannot give trust to the Israeli side or to their commitments," he said.
It is the third time Israel has closed the airport, a symbol of Palestinian self-rule, following the eruption of violence that has left some 160 people dead, nearly all Arabs.
Yasser Arafat International Airport was opened in November 1998 and is seen by Palestinians as one of the major symbols of their aspirations for an independent state – GAZA CITY (AFP)
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