Egypt Independent

Egypt beefs up security at Rafah ahead of Hamas march

Rafah–Egypt deployed some 500 policemen at the borders with the Gaza Strip Saturday, ahead of a planned a march organized by Hamas in the enclave, a high-ranking security source said.

The move to secure the border came amid fear that the protesters might try to enter Sinai, the source added.

The protesters are calling on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah crossing three months after it was closed, pushing the number of stranded Palestinians to around 5,000.

Earlier Saturday, authorities made an exception in opening the crossing to allow a South African delegate to pass into Gaza.

Israel and Egypt closed the Gaza Strip’s borders after Hamas took control of the territory’s security forces in 2007.

Egypt was criticized for keeping the border closed during Israel’s three-week offensive on the strip last year, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.