Rafah Boarder Crossing won’t open until security matters are resolved

PNN/ Gaza/

The situation in Gaza Strip will go back in crisis again if a number of issues are not resolved. Issues like security control and other files need to be resolved such as salaries, employees and Hamas relations with regional bodies such as Iran and Turkey. High-level diplomatic sources told PNN

The most prominent of these files now is the Rafah boarder crossing, which was supposed to be worked with today and it will not be open for passengers in the Strip because the situation is still escalating in the sector.

The Rafah border crossing will not open today or soon before a solution is found to matters like security control to ensure that no security related problems occur leading to negative results, a source who wished to remain anonymous told PNN.

The European Union told the Palestinian Authority (PA), Egypt and other international bodies that the European Union will not be able to send observers and officers to Rafah boarder crossing without resolving its matter and the security control, which could endanger the lives of European observers at any moment.

The European Union, in its letters to the PA, Egypt and international bodies, said that it is not possible to go back to the 2005 agreement regarding the operation of the crossing because the conditions were different then and the division and control of Hamas over the years led to many changes. Adding that this file and and  the security control has not yet been resolved in the Palestinian reconciliation therefore it would be impossible to send European observers to the crossing to operate at this moment.

The European Union hoped that the reconciliation meetings in Cairo had resolved the issue of security control in the Gaza Strip. The European Union also hopes that Egypt who sponsored the reconciliation will establish a vision and a security plan to ensure the success of the reconciliation efforts to restore stability in such a way as to ensure the return of observers. The source added.

On the other hand, the source pointed out that the other crisis, which is another obstacle in the situation is the salary crisis, as Israel said that it will deduct the value of salaries of Gaza employees of the tax revenues if the PA decides to integrate Hamas civil and military personnel in the lists of employees. This means a salary crisis on the Palestinian side. This is in addition to the fact that Hamas did not pay the salaries of employees from its own budget, which indicates a new financial crisis for Palestinians in Gaza Strip, therefore this will lead to further escalation in the situation in Gaza, according to diplomatic sources.

Another reason for the possibility of a crisis in Gaza Strip is Hamas leaders visits to several countries, including Iran and Turkey, which have different programs and visions of the Egyptian vision. These visits have embarrassed the Egyptian mediator in reconciliation. Egypt saw Hamas accepting and responding to the Egyptian role. but Hamas’ recent visits especially to Tehran and the statements embarrassed the Egyptian mediator, leading them to delay the opening of the crossing and perhaps take further steps towards Hamas.

According to the sources, Egypt has decided to postpone the opening of the Rafah crossing because it is the one who decides to open it or not not in the first place. Now Egypt demands Hamas to provide clarifications regarding their relations with the countries of the region.


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