GAZA CITY – Scores of Palestinian university students on Monday staged a demonstration outside the Egyptian embassy's former headquarters in Gaza to protest the ongoing closure by Egyptian authorities of the Rafah border crossing, which links the Gaza Strip to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Protesters called for lifting Israel's years-long blockade on Gaza and for reopening the flashpoint crossing to Gazan university students who study abroad.
"We can't find an explanation for Egypt's decision to tighten the noose around Gaza," said Abdel-Rahman Mehana, head of the students union at Gaza's Islamic University, who attended Monday's protest.
"How can students who want to complete their studies pose a threat to Egypt's national security?" he asked.
Other demonstrators carried banners calling to lift the siege on Gaza, which has remained in place since 2006.
Egypt has tightened its grip on the border with Gaza since last July's ouster of Mohamed Morsi – the country's first freely elected president – by the army.
Egyptian authorities accuse Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007, of interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs and carrying out terrorist activities in Egypt.
Hamas spokesmen emphatically deny the allegations.