Egypt Reopens Rafah Border Crossing in Gaza Strip

Crossing Will Be Under Palestinian Authority Control

For the first time since 2007, the Egyptian border crossing at Rafah, into the Gaza Strip, has opened. There is hope that it will remain open for regular operation going forward, and many Gazans are seeking admission into Egypt.

Right now, the crossing will be opening thrice weekly, but since it’s now under Palestinian Authority control, part of a unity deal Egypt helped broker, there is hope that the Egyptians will want to support that unity with better border access.

During the 10-year span in which Hamas controlled the crossing, both Egypt and Israel heavily restricted border operations as a way of putting the strip under a heavy siege. This included severe restrictions on what goods were allowed into Gaza, leading to seemingly arbitrary bans, like the bans on noodles.

While Israel’s far-right government has been deeply critical of Palestinian unity, an open border on the Egypt side would severely limit Israel’s ability to blockade humanitarian goods entering the strip.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.