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Thousands stranded as Rafah closed for 5th day
Thousands stranded as Rafah closed for 5th day
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Gaza, Alray - Egyptian authorities kept the Rafah crossing with Gaza closed for the fifth consecutive,  despite efforts by Palestinian officials to re-open the terminal.



Egyptian police closed the Rafah crossing on Friday after gunmen ambushed two minibuses in Sinai's Wadi al-Akhdar and kidnapped  seven Egyptian servicemen.



The police said they would not re-open Rafah crossing until their colleagues were released.



A Gaza based centre for human rights said that over 2,400 Palestinians are stranded at both sides of the crossing. The group urged Egyptian authorities to open the crossing and "exclude it from the internal affairs of both sides."



Passengers said on Monday that they were making do with cardboard and newspapers to sleep at night, and to avoid the heat of the sun during the day. Some sleep in mosques, and very few can afford to hire a hotel rooms in Arish.



Some passengers have even managed to cross into Gaza through smuggling tunnels. 



Attacks on police and soldiers in the sparsely populated Sinai peninsula have surged since an uprising that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 .

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