Preparations complete for opening of Rafah crossing

PA may delay opening of crossing to Egypt due to disagreement with Hamas.

Dalit Halevi ,

Hamas security forces patrol Rafah crossing
Hamas security forces patrol Rafah crossing

The Palestinian Border Crossings Authority announced on Tuesday that it had completed preparations for the opening of the Rafah border crossing which connects Gaza to Egypt.

These preparations included the appointment of representatives of the passport and customs authority, as well as the placement of security equipment, computers and security cameras.

According to the Al-Hayat newspaper, despite the completion of the technical preparations, the Palestinian Authority (PA) government could postpone the opening of the Rafah crossing on the date agreed upon in the reconciliation talks with Hamas, on the grounds that the PA should first have full control over the security forces in Gaza.

Senior PA officials demand the implementation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, which stipulated there would be international supervision over the crossings and Israeli surveillance by means of cameras.

As part of the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, the Hamas authorities in Gaza transferred authority over the crossings to the PA, but Hamas strongly opposes the implementation of the 2005 agreement with Israel and demands full Palestinian Arab control over the crossings.