GAZA CITY – Egypt's Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip has only been open for 12 days so far this year, Gaza's Interior Ministry said Friday.
In a statement, ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bazm said Egyptian authorities were keeping the crossing shut "without stating the reasons."
Due to an eight-year-long Israeli embargo on the Gaza Strip, the Rafah border crossing – which links the strip to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula – represents Gaza's only window to the outside world.
Al-Bazm also called on international legal and humanitarian agencies to pressure Egypt to reopen the crossing with a view to "ending the suffering of thousands of Palestinians in the enclave."
Egyptian authorities have tightened their grip on the border with the Hamas-run the Gaza Strip since last July, when the army ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi and cracked down on his Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood group.
Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007.