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Gaza-Egypt Border Sealed Completely - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A member of the Hamas forces arrests a Palestinian man that tried to cross the now-sealed breached part of the border wall between Egypt and Gaza (AP)

A member of the Hamas forces arrests a Palestinian man that tried to cross the now-sealed breached part of the border wall between Egypt and Gaza (AP)

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AFP) – Egyptian and Hamas forces on Monday completely sealed the Gaza-Egypt border, closing the last passage through which people were allowed to return home, an AFP correspondent saw.

Dozens of Palestinians who have not yet crossed back into Gaza were assembled on the Egyptian side of the divided town of Rafah, awaiting to be returned as a group to the Hamas-run territory.

Egyptians waiting to return home were likewise assembled on the Gazan side in the town.

It was not immediately clear when or how the people would be returned home.

Egyptian security forces and Hamas gunmen closed the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Sunday after reportedly agreeing on restoring control over the frontier that Gaza militants blew open nearly two weeks ago amid a punishing Israeli blockade.

Since explosions brought down sections of the border barriers in Rafah early on January 23, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are estimated to have crossed back and forth into Egypt, most of them to stock up on supplies.

After several days of talks in Cairo last week, Hamas official Mahmud Zahar announced on Saturday that the Islamists had reached a deal with Egypt on restoring control over the frontier, Gaza’s only one not with Israel.

A Palestinian pulls barbed wire erected at the newly sealed border in Rafah between Egypt and the Gaza Strip (AFP)

A Palestinian pulls barbed wire erected at the newly sealed border in Rafah between Egypt and the Gaza Strip (AFP)

Palestinians, left, and members of the Egyptian forces are seen on both sides of the re-sealed border wall between Egypt and Gaza (AP)

Palestinians, left, and members of the Egyptian forces are seen on both sides of the re-sealed border wall between Egypt and Gaza (AP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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