Hamas shuts Egyptian border crossing

June 5, 2011 - 8:14 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The ruling Hamas militant group has closed the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt to protest what it says are repeated delays at the crossing since Egypt permanently opened it last week.

Ayoub Abu Shaer, director of the Rafah terminal, says the Palestinians are upset over what he calls the Egyptian "mechanism" at the crossing.

With great fanfare, Egypt last week said it was permanently opening the crossing, Gaza's main gateway to the outside world. But the number of travelers has been limited, and on Saturday, Egypt closed the crossing without notice.

Egypt's new government has promised to reopen the crossing since the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak in February. Mubarak cooperated with Israel during a four-year blockade of Gaza meant to weaken Hamas.