Four Palestinians were abducted Wednesday evening as they crossed the Rafah border crossing from Gaza and were heading to Cairo, according to a statement by Palestinian movement Hamas issued on Thursday.
The statement further read that armed men stopped a bus carrying passengers and called out the names of the people they abducted. So far no group is claiming responsibility for the alleged incident.
An official statement regarding the matter was not issued by the Palestinian embassy in Egypt.
Neither Egypt’s interior ministry nor the armed forces press office were available for comment.
The act “breaks all diplomatic and security norms of the Egyptian state”, said Hamas’ statement.
Hamas called on the Egyptian authorities to find and arrest the kidnappers so as not to “affect the Palestinian-Egyptian relations at a time when both parties are seeking to consolidate this relationship”.
Egypt had opened the Rafah border with the Gaza strip from Monday to Thursday in both directions.
Relations between Egypt and Hamas have greatly deteriorated over the past two years particularly following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The movement has been accused of interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs.
Hamas frequently denied such accusations.
The tension reached its peak when the movement was designated as a “terrorist group” by an Egyptian court. The decision was later appealed and was cancelled by the State Lawsuit Authority.
The border was last opened prior to the holy month of Ramadan in June for seven consecutive days and for the first time in two years.