Hamas to hand control of Rafah border crossing to Palestinian Authority

Hamas to hand control of Rafah border crossing to Palestinian Authority

Today, Hamas will turn over control of the Rafah border crossing, the only entry point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Reopening the border crossing is critical to salvaging the dismal Gazan economy, which has been blockaded by both Israel and Egypt since 2007. The handover is part of the

Rafah Crossing to be handed over to Palestinian Authority

Photo: AFP/Said Khatib

Today, Hamas will turn over control of the Rafah border crossing, the only entry point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Reopening the border crossing is critical to salvaging the dismal Gazan economy, which has been blockaded by both Israel and Egypt since 2007.

The handover is part of the latest round of Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah, which split in 2007 after the militant Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian parliament and seized control of the Gaza strip. Under an October 12 agreement, the Fatah-dominated PA will reassume full administrative control of the Gaza strip by December 1, and the two groups are to meet November 21st to attempt to form a unity government.

Any reconciliation could actually have a detrimental effect on Middle East peace; Israel has consistently refused to negotiate with any group that includes Hamas. Expect Israeli and US efforts to scuttle the process and keep the two groups divided.

Delve deeper: Palestine: A long road to unity

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