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.