First Published: 2017-11-15

Palestinians wait as Egypt keeps border closed
Egypt has kept its crossing with Gaza largely closed in recent years but there had been hopes that recently signed reconciliation deal would lead to border's reopening.
Middle East Online

PA is supposed to retake full civil control of the Gaza Strip by December 1.

GAZA CITY - Palestinian leaders hoped a recently signed reconciliation agreement would lead to Egypt reopening its border with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, but those hopes seem to have been dashed.

Egypt has kept its crossing with Gaza largely closed in recent years, while the territory has also been under an Israeli blockade for more than a decade.

Israel has fought three wars with Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, since 2008.

Hamas and rival Palestinian faction Fatah, which is based in the occupied West Bank, signed a landmark reconciliation deal last month aimed at ending their decade-long split.

The agreement mediated by Egypt led to president Mahmud Abbas's Palestinian Authority retaking control of Gaza's borders on November 1.

The PA is supposed to retake full civil control of the Gaza Strip by December 1.

Palestinian leaders had said they hoped one result of the deal would be the opening of Egypt's Rafah border with the Gaza Strip on November 15.

On Wednesday, Palestinian officials said they were still awaiting word from Egypt.

"We don't have any information about when Rafah border will reopen again," Nazmi Muhanna, in charge of border crossings for the Palestinian Authority, said.

Cracks have emerged in the reconciliation deal, particularly over security control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is refusing to disarm its military wing as Abbas wants.

Security in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula is also thought to be one of Cairo's concerns.

Egyptian security forces have been fighting a branch of the Islamic State group in the Sinai.

Egypt is expected to host another meeting of Palestinian factions in Cairo on November 21 to discuss next steps in the reconciliation process.

 

Bloodbath in Syria's eastern Ghouta

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Turkey releases leading pro-Kurdish politician

5 Iranian police killed in Sufi protests

Iran finds wreckage of crashed plane on top of mountain

Israel’s gas contract with Egypt: deal or no deal?

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

Iraq orders deportation of French jihadist

Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon

Iran's supreme leader says progress needed on justice

Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey

Netanyahu warns Iran, brandishes piece of metal

66 feared dead as plane crashes in Iranian mountains

Saudi women to open businesses without male permission

Netanyahu slams 'outrageous' Holocaust remark by Polish PM

Israeli air strikes kill 2 in Gaza

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib