Egypt keeps Gaza border closed due to kidnapping
ByREUTERS
18 May 2013 14:27
Egyptian policeman says crossing will remain closed until the seven hostages are freed.
Palestinian baby sleeps next to his mother at the Rafah crossing with Egypt in Gaza, May 17, 2013

Palestinian mother and child370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

CAIRO - Egyptian police angered by the kidnapping of seven colleagues by Islamist gunmen kept a crossing into the Gaza Strip closed again on Saturday, stranding hundreds of Palestinian travellers, witnesses said.

The protest began on Friday when police strung barbed wire across the Rafah border post and chained up the gates, local residents said, a day after the abductions.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



Gunmen demanding the release of jailed Islamist militants had seized seven policemen and soldiers on a road between the Sinai towns of el-Arish and Rafah. Three of those abducted had worked at the Rafah border crossing, locals said.

"We will not open the crossing until the kidnapped soldiers are freed and the interior minister arrives to listen to our demands so that these attacks on us are not repeated," one of the protesting policemen said on Saturday.

Hardline Islamist groups in North Sinai have exploited the collapse of state authority after the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 to launch attacks across the border into Israel and on Egyptian targets.

The protesting policemen called on President Mohamed Morsi, who belongs to the Muslim brotherhood, to help free their colleagues.

Security sources said on Saturday all seven hostages remained missing, retracting their report the previous day that one policeman had been released.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement, which runs the Gaza Strip, criticized the Egyptian police action and said contacts were under way to resolve the standoff.

"There are promises to follow up on the matter, but in spite of these promises the suffering is still building up. We consider the continued closure of the crossing unjustified and incomprehensible," Sami Abu Zuhri told Al Jazeera television.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Israel news
  • Prev Article
    'Syrian rebels claim Assad chemical weapons use'
    A fighter from the Free Syrian Army wears a gas mask in January 2013.
    PA police stang guard in West Bank
    PA continues crackdown on journalists in W. Bank
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Amphitheater Palmyra
    22 January 2017
    ISIS destroys famous monument in Syria's Palmyra

    By REUTERS

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 5 - 17
      Beer Sheva
      8 - 17
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 5 - 12
      Jerusalem
      7 - 16
      Haifa
    • 10 - 21
      Elat
      7 - 17
      Tiberias