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Egypt to Reopen Rafah Gate to Gaza Within a Week Easing Travel and Aid

Abu Sabha: Egyptians promise to reopen Rafah before Eid al-Fitr

[ 13/08/2012 - 11:39 AM ]


Maher Abu Sabha, general director of crossings and borders in Gaza, quoted Egyptian official sources as saying that the land port will be opened in both directions before Eid al-Fitr (Before Sunday, August 19).

There is no official confirmation yet of the crossing opening, Abu Sabha told PIC. Egypt may open the border on Tuesday, he added.

He explained that, since the closure of the Rafah crossing, around 30 to 35 thousands passengers have been banned from traveling.

Around 3,700 Gazans returned to the coastal enclave on Friday after being stranded in Egypt while the Rafah crossing was closed, the Gaza official said.

The border crossing was closed on Sunday following an armed attack in the Sinai in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed.

Economist: Closing tunnels causes huge economic losses

[ 13/08/2012 - 12:38 PM ]


Economist Dr. Maher Al-Tabbaa affirmed that the sudden closure of the Gaza tunnels without opening the commercial crossings and without lifting the siege will cause huge economic losses in Gaza.

AlTabbaa- called, in an article on Monday, for ending the siege and the hardships caused by the imposed use of tunnels, stressing that using the tunnels will only end after opening all commercial crossings to allow the entry of all kinds of goods to the Strip.

He pointed out that the decrease in prices of building material incoming through tunnels has contributed in increasing residential buildings, implementing some projects and increasing the percentage of workers in the construction sector, and thus, significantly decreasing the unemployment rate.

The economist stressed that the tunnels, whose number exceeds 1200, have become the only alternative option available for bringing goods to Gaza, noting that Gaza's imports through the tunnels have exceeded a billion dollar per year.

Yet, Al-Tabbaa stated that the tunnels will not become the legitimate and legal alternative for the entry of goods and commodities, as the tunnel trade is considered illegal and arbitrary and does not meet all Gaza's needs.

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