No indication on deal to re-open Rafah crossing

With all these intensive talks in recent days, there is still no indication of any deal near on the important issue of reopening the Gaza-Egyptian border at Rafah.

No question has been asked in any of the press conferences given over the past few days by any of the principals involved.

There are only two hints that something may be up:

1) reports that David Welch is being sent back to Cairo. Haaretz reported that “Abbas said Wednesday that Rice told him she would send an envoy to Egypt, which often mediates between Israel and Hamas. [Rice briefly visited Egypt for talks on Tuesday morning, and Welch was in her entourage, before she arrived in Israel and headed straight to Ramallah] ‘There are real efforts being exerted by Egypt for the truce’, Abbas said”.

2) the statement issued this moring by Israel’s Security Cabinet saying they would work “To reduce the strengthening of Hamas, including in coordination with – and by – Egypt“.

Reuters has reported that “Israeli and European officials said one proposal under consideration would seek to open the Rafah border crossing to cargo, expanding on its former role for travellers only. Israeli defence officials said that could be acceptable to the Jewish state as a way of limiting its responsibility for supplying Gaza’s 1.5 million residents. But Egypt opposes any attempt by Israel to shift the burden, Western diplomats said … Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, told reporters in Jerusalem his bloc’s border monitors were ready to return to Rafah after a nearly nine-month absence provided any agreement includes Egypt … Solana declined to say whether Rafah’s role could be expanded beyond passengers. ‘We are working on that, and working on that with intensity’, he told reporters … Abbas’s foreign minister said last week that having Palestinian Authority personnel at Rafah would give Abbas’s administration a ‘foothold’ again in Gaza … Israeli officials said the government would be willing to see Rafah open to both goods and people because it would further Israel’s goal of disconnecting from Gaza. Palestinians also have concerns, however, that linking Gaza closer to Egypt could hamper efforts to found a state in both Gaza and the West Bank … Israel has resisted international pressure to reopen the main Karni commercial crossing between Israel and Gaza, citing security concerns. Israeli officials said opening Rafah to passengers and goods could reduce the pressure to open Karni. To ensure Rafah would function more regularly, Washington supports stationing EU monitors both in Israel and in Egypt, Western diplomats said. The unarmed monitors, who withdrew from Rafah after Hamas’s takeover, have been based in Israel”. This Reuters report is posted here .

2 thoughts on “No indication on deal to re-open Rafah crossing”

  1. What do you think of this ? Shoher is arguably the most right Israeli today, but he argues Israel should talk to Hamas as Egypt will not maintain the blockade of Gaza.

  2. This is not a bad article.

    There is no good that has come from the policy of not talking — or, for that matter, of blockade and siege and military strikes.

    Egypt, however, continues to surprise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *