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.

 

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery

Malaysians, Indonesians protest US move on Jerusalem

EU, Jordan voice backing for Palestinian state

Clashes in West Bank over US Jerusalem move

Macron appeals for calm over US Jerusalem embassy move

World leaders to 're-legitimise' Lebanon PM at Paris talks

Iraq forces launch new push against IS desert holdouts

Iran cleric urges new intifada against 'occupying regime'

Heavy Israeli deployment ahead of Friday prayers

Saudi crown prince ‘bought’ $450 mn Da Vinci

Trump Jerusalem ploy sparks Palestinian protests

States pledge action, condemn Libya slavery

UN says Syrian males caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse

Jerusalem move awkward for Arab allies of US

Niger repatriates nationals from Libya

Russia says mission to defeat IS in Syria ‘accomplished’

Jerusalem recognition brings little change and big risks

Qatar agrees to buy fighter jets from France amid Gulf crisis

Iraqi militia threatens US forces over Jerusalem provocation

Qatar wants to resolve Guft rift, but not at expense of dignity

World condemns Trump Jerusalem announcement

UAE ‘disappointed’ at inclusion in EU tax haven blacklist

Huthi rebels mount show of force in Sanaa

Syrian opposition pressured into accepting Assad

Yemen government forces retake Red Sea town