GAZA CITY: The border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt opened Friday for a second straight day for humanitarian cases, after weeks of closure, but was shut early again, officials said.
The Rafah crossing is Gaza s only gateway to the world that circumvents Israel and was open for less than three hours and shut at 12:15 pm (9:15 GMT), nearly eight hours earlier than scheduled, after some 1,200 people had crossed into Egypt.
There were too many people. The situation was difficult to control, a spokeswoman for the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) said, explaining the early closure.
Thousands of people had gathered at the crossing after the announcement that it would open for 48 hours beginning on Thursday, when it had also been shut early at the request of Israel on security grounds.
It was not immediately clear whether it would open Saturday.
The crossing was closed by Israel on June 25 after Gaza militants killed two Israeli soldiers and seized a third in a cross-border raid.
Since then, it had been opened only on July 18 and 19, to allow Palestinians stranded in Egypt to cross back into the Gaza Strip.
Last November, two months after Israel withdrew from Gaza following a 38-year presence, the Rafah border crossing began operating under a US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian agreement with EU monitors. AFP