Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Gaza's Rafah crossing with Egypt opens under PA control

Gaza's Rafah crossing with Egypt opens under PA control

The statement continues: "Opening all crossing points, under the management and control of the Palestinian Authority, will be crucial for freedom of movement for the people of Gaza and for enabling the Palestinian Authority to resume its full responsibilities in Gaza and achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation".

Palestinians hope the pact will ease Gaza's economic woes and help them present a united front in their drive for statehood, although the details of implementation of the deal have yet to be worked out fully.

A senior Palestinian official says the long-anticipated opening of Gaza's border crossing with Egypt has been postponed, and talks are underway with Cairo to set a new date.

The terminal will remain open for three days in both directions, according to local Palestinian media.

The Rafah border crossing connects the Gaza Strip with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, and it had been nearly completely closed since mid-2013.

Citing security concerns, Egypt and Israel maintain tight restrictions at their Gaza borders.

Palestinians are hoping the crossing will operate full-time, as it had been doing until 2007. Palestinian officials also confirmed to The Media Line that Israel is considering withholding tax revenues-to the tune of some $200 million monthly-it collects on behalf of the PA in response to the reconciliation accord and the eventual incorporation of Hamas members into the Palestinian government.

Rafah is Gaza's main gateway to the outside world. The group refuses to disarm, as demanded by Israel and the United States.

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