Security forces in Egypt closed Rafah Crossing last Friday
On Thursday, gunmen took four soldiers and three police officers hostage, in an apparent effort to press Egypt to release detainees being held on suspicion of involvement in attacks in the Sinai, including the August attack on a police station in El Arish. According to media reports, Egyptian security officials, concerned the hostages might be taken to Gaza, also halted operation of at least some of the tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt border.
Rafah Crossing serves as Gaza’s only connection to Egypt and thus to the outside world. It is the only crossing point operating without direct Israeli control. Israel limits passage at Erez Crossing, while restrictions at Rafah have mostly been lifted. Approximately 30,000 individuals travel via the crossing per month.