Rafah Crossing
Rafah CrossingIDF spokesman

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper on Wednesday reported that an Israeli delegation did not hide from Egypt its inability to decide on several details regarding the management of the Rafah Crossing, without returning to the diplomatic echelon.

According to the report, Israel was presented in the past with a comprehensive Egyptian proposal for the Rafah Crossing and its administration. In addition, Egypt opposes all proposals which would allow Palestinian Authority Arabs and Gazans to cross through the Kerem Shalom Crossing on the Israeli side.

Sources familiar with the negotiations details told Israel Hayom, "Cairo did not express clear opposition to the proposal to set up a security fence in the border strip (Philadelphi Corridor), in order to prevent smuggling. Egypt stressed that this is a matter which can be discussed in detail later on, and after Israel withdraws fully from the Corridor," or at least redistributes its forces.

According to the report, Egypt expressed to Israel and the US a desire to cooperate on the issue of supervising the border between Gaza and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, but conditioned the cooperation on a wider framework than simple bilateral cooperation between Israel and Egypt, insisting that a third party be involved.

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials have promised that in the coming days, they will present a clear and detailed plan for the Philadelphi Corridor, which runs along the Gaza-Egypt border. According to the sources, the Israeli delegation discussed military targets which have not yet been accomplished in the area, and said that the negotiations process does not mean a halt in the work to achieve those goals.

Egypt has expressed concern that this corresponds to the escalation in Gaza, "which could develop in the coming days and threaten to topple the negotiations, as Hamas warned the negotiators two days ago."

The Lebanese newspaper also noted that the negotiators are waiting for Israel's response on two central matters: The Rafah Crossing, and ensuring the continuation of a ceasefire during the negotiations between stages 1 and 2. As part of this, it was noted that Hamas is demanding that Israel "not carry out any type of military operation - including eliminations - during the negotiations" between the stages.