Egypt’s Rafah border with Gaza fails to reopen as planned

By November 17 2017, 13:40 Latest News No Comments

rafahA senior Palestinian official announced on Wednesday that the planned reopening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been postponed this week, citing ongoing Egyptian security concerns in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt has long accused Hamas of smuggling weapons to Islamic State-linked Salafist militants in the volatile Sinai Peninsula, where scores of soldiers and policemen have been killed since the army overthrew former President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

The reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), signed in Cairo in October, stated the Rafah crossing would permanently reopen on 15th November.

Under the terms of the unity agreement, the PA will take control of the Gaza-Israel crossings and the Palestinian presidential guard will take control of the Gaza-Egypt crossing (Rafah), with European observers stationed there to prevent arms smuggling.

Egypt, who brokered the reconciliation agreement earlier this year, is expected to host another meeting of Palestinian factions in Cairo on 21st November to discuss next steps in the reconciliation process.

According to the terms outlined in the agreement, the PA is due to take over full civil control of the Gaza Strip by 1st December.

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