Egypt demands Israel withdraws from Rafah crossing for it to operate again, sources say

CAIRO (Reuters) - Officials from the United States, Israel and Egypt ended a meeting in Cairo on Sunday with Egypt sticking to its position that Israel must withdraw from the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing for it to operate again, two Egyptian security sources said.

Israel seized the crossing on the Gaza side in May during its offensive in the city of Rafah along the enclave's southern edge, angering Egypt which said it would stop cooperating with Israel on the crucial artery for aid into the strip and evacuations out of it.

The Egyptian security sources said Sunday's meeting was positive despite there being no agreement on reopening of the crossing. Egypt's delegation at the meeting said it would be open to European monitors at the border to oversee its operation by Palestinian authorities if Palestinian authorities agreed to resume work.

Israeli and U.S. officials said they would work quickly to remove the obstacles to the operation of the crossing, the Egyptian sources said.

Tensions have risen between Egypt and Israel over the takeover of the southern border, which Israel said had been completed on Wednesday.

While Egypt facilitated the entrance of aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing last week, the re-opening of Rafah is crucial as humanitarian agencies warn of looming famine in Gaza.

(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, additional reporting by Nayera Abdallah, writing by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Susan Fenton)