Egypt closes Gaza border

Egypt closed its main border crossing point with Gaza Strip on August 23, 2021 because of tensions with Hamas rulers.

Key Points

  • Rafah crossing was closed for the first time during a workday in year 2021.
  • This crossing was kept open during the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in May 2021.
  • As per Egyptian officials, closing of the border was due to Cairo’s efforts of brokering a long-term cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Background

Closure of border was the result of violence that erupted on August 21 after a protest organized by Hamas. Hamas organized the protest to draw attention towards Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory. Some 24 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli shooting.

About Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip is a self-governing Palestinian territory located on the eastern coast of Mediterranean Sea. It shares its border with Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers and with Israel on the east & north for a 51 km. Gaza and the West Bank are claimed by sovereign State of Palestine. Both the territories are separated from each other by Israeli territory. However, since Battle of Gaza in June 2007, Gaza Strip has been governed by Hamas, which is a Palestinian fundamentalist militant Islamic organization. It came into power after the elections in 2006.

About Hamas

Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist, a militant, and a nationalist organization. It comprises of a social service win called Dawah, and a military wing called Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. It holds a majority in the parliament of Palestinian National Authority. United States, Canada, European Union, Israel and Japan have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.

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