Travel delays at Rafah Crossing and tunnel activity nearly halted

Transport of goods through the tunnels is at a near standstill.  Photo by Eman MohamedJune 27, 2013. Over the last week, passengers traveling through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt have experienced significant delays. A number of passenger buses have been returned to Gaza and the number of passengers waiting at the crossing has increased. The Egyptian authorities claim that the delays are the result of internet malfunctions, but according to media reports, Egypt is attempting to reduce travel through the crossing ahead of demonstrations planned to take place in the country at the end of the month.

In addition, the Egyptian military has increased its presence in the Sinai desert, causing delays that have almost entirely halted transport of goods to Gaza through the tunnels. The result is a severe shortage in building materials and Egyptian benzene. The diesel shortage also continues and what little diesel does come through is given to the power station as a first priority.