Gaza's Egypt border to stay shut after Sinai massacre

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: The Gaza Strip's border crossing with Egypt that was due to reopen Saturday will remain closed until further notice following the bloody attack in neighbouring Sinai, an official told AFP.

Friday's bomb and gun assault on the Rawda mosque near North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish killed at least 235 people.

Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt had been due to reopen on Saturday for three days.

But the official in Gaza, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it will remain closed.

"The Egyptian side informed us that Rafah will not reopen on Saturday because of the tragic events in Northern Sinai," the official added.

The border reopened last Saturday for three days for the first time since the transfer of control of Gaza crossing points from the Islamist Hamas movement to the Palestinian Authority on Nov 1.

It had been closed since Aug, and the reopening allowed patients, students and stranded people to leave the Palestinian enclave.

Gaza has been subject to Israeli blockade for a decade, and for years to the almost permanent closure of its border with Egypt.

Hamas took power by force in June 2007 after a week of bloody clashes with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah.

The transfer of control of border crossings is a major test for a reconciliation deal reached in Cairo on Oct 12, after multiple previous attempts at Hamas-Fatah reconciliation over the past decade failed. — AFP