GAZA CITY: European monitors closed the Gaza Strip s border crossing with Egypt on Tuesday in response to a security alert in the area, officials said.
Europeans at the Rafah crossing told the Palestinians operating the passage to close the crossing, said a spokesman for the European monitors, Julio De La Guardia.
Israel had warned the Europeans of a security alert at the nearby crossing of Kerem Shalom, De La Guardia said. The Israeli army confirmed it had closed Kerem Shalom due to security concerns, but said the closure was expected to be short. It did not give details.
The European monitors are stationed at Rafah under an agreement between Israel, the Palestinians and Egypt that was brokered by the U.S. after Israel s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last September.
The Rafah crossing is the main gateway to the outside world for Gaza s 1.3 million Palestinians.
Palestinian officials of the ruling Hamas group last week brought in millions of dollars into Gaza through Rafah in an effort to alleviate a dire cash shortage that has left the government unable to pay salaries of civil servants. AP