GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas on Tuesday sharply criticized Egypt's closure of the Rafah border crossing, saying Cairo's tightening of restrictions on the Palestinian territory was a "crime against humanity."
"The Egyptian authorities' insistence on closing the Rafah crossing and tightening the Gaza blockade... is a crime against humanity by all standards and a crime against the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.
He condemned "the continuation of this blockade and closing the crossing, all whilst Israel escalates and (increases) aggression".
"We hold all parties to the blockade of Gaza completely responsible for the consequences of this crime," he said.
Egypt has severely restricted access through the border city of Rafah -- Gaza's only gateway to the world that is not controlled by Israel -- ostensibly for security reasons.
The Hamas interior ministry says Rafah, for many Gazans the only passage in and out of the territory and a crucial crossing for supplies, has now been closed for 39 straight days. more