There has been no official statement from the authorities as yet.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed that British citizens in Gaza had been unable to leave via the Rafah crossing.

A spokesperson told the BBC: ”We are disappointed that the Rafah crossing has been temporarily closed today.

”This continues to be a complex and challenging situation and we are using all diplomatic channels to press for its reopening in coordination with our international partners.”

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Wednesday to allow a number of civilians to leave Gaza.

It was their first opportunity to do so since the war began on 7 October, when Hamas gunmen staged an unprecedented assault on southern Israel that killed more than 1,400 people.

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