Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing on Wednesday evening, the same day as authorities first reopened it for a two-day period, with thousands of Palestinians hoping for passage following 85 days of closure.

The Gaza crossings committee said Egypt closed the crossing after 443 Palestinians entered Egypt for humanitarian purposes or were allowed admission because they held Egyptian passports. Seven buses and several ambulances were admitted through the crossing during the day, according to the committee.

The committee added that the Rafah crossing was still open for those entering the besieged Gaza Strip.

The reasons for the closure and its duration remained unclear.

The Gaza Ministry of Interior said earlier on Wednesday that the two-day opening was already too short a time to process the more than 30,000 passengers registered to cross and waiting for their turn, including humanitarian cases, students who attend schools abroad, patients in need of treatment outside of Gaza, and visa holders who live and work abroad.

Egypt has upheld an Israeli military blockade on the Gaza Strip for the majority of the past three years, since the ouster of President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 and the rise to power of Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt.

The nearly nine-year Israeli blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into poverty.

The destruction from three Israeli offensives over the past six years and slow reconstruction due to the blockade led the UN in September to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

Source: Nam News Network