Sunday, 15 September 2013

Egypt to reopen Gaza borders 'soon' claims Palestinian diplomat

GAZA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian diplomat said Sunday that Egypt had promised to reopen Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip "soon."

Barakat Al-Farra, the Palestinian ambassador to Egypt, did not give a specific date for the reopening of the only passenger border crossing bypassing Israel.

Egypt shut down the crossing on Wednesday after a deadly car bomb explosion at a security building on the Egyptian side of Rafah town in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

The closure of Rafah virtually cuts Gaza, a home to 1.7 million Palestinians, from the outside world, as traveling through crossings with Israel is strictly limited to patients, foreigners and some businessmen.

"There are Egyptian assurances that the crossing will reopen soon," Al-Farra told a local FM radio broadcasting from Gaza.

He added that traveling will remain restricted to humanitarian cases, holders of foreign passports, and students "until the situation in Sinai improves." more

Hamas: Egypt arrests 2 Gaza fishermen

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Egyptian naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza Strip's southern coast and arrested two of them, the Hamas movement said.

Hamas "condemns the fire from Egyptian gunboats toward Palestinians within Palestinian waters, and the arrest of some of them," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

A local security source said Egyptian navy forces opened fire at two fishermen in waters off the southern Gaza city Rafah and arrested them, noting there were no injuries in the incident. On Sunday, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza's coast, witnesses said. Fishermen were forced to return to the shore following the incident, with no injuries reported. This was the second time in recent weeks that Egyptian forces have opened fire at Gaza fishermen and made arrests. On August 30 two Palestinian fishermen were wounded and five others arrested by Egyptian navy forces, according to Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007. more