Gaza officials: Egypt border closure aggravates Palestinian suffering
Members of Hamas' security forces stand guard in front of the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on September 16, 2013. [Said Khatib/Getty Images]
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The Rafah land crossing, which connects Egypt and the Gaza Strip, has been closed by Egyptian authorities for ten days in a row, officials said on Sunday.
Officials from the Palestinian side said that the crossing is still closed and that although they have been communicating with the Egyptian side in order to re-open it, they has had no success so far.
Gaza government officials said that they were concerned about the closure of the crossing, accusing the Egyptian side of tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip and worsening the humanitarian situation.
The Gaza government also called on Arab and regional countries to intervene and find a solution to this crisis, denouncing Egypt's "disregard for the lives of the Palestinian people," and pleading for the immediate re-opening of the crossing.
Gaza has been almost entirely without fuel for weeks, and the resulting shut down of the Strip's main power plant and water pumping facilities have led to widespread blackouts and water rationing.
The Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza's 1.7 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by Israel beginning in 2007.
Rafah has frequently been shut down or operating at reduced capacity in recent months due to ongoing unrest in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and political tensions resulting from former president Mohamed Morsi's ouster by the Egyptian military in July.
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