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Egypt 'willing' to re-open Rafah crossing permanently
Published Saturday 07/06/2014 (updated) 09/06/2014 10:06
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CAIRO (Ma'an) -- A top Egyptian official said Saturday that Egypt was willing to permanently open the Rafah crossing under the condition that it would be supervised by the national unity government.

The official said that Egypt would request that President Mahmoud Abbas re-open the presidential headquarters in the Gaza Strip.

According to the official, who spoke to Ma'an on condition of anonymity, Egyptian authorities have welcomed the commitment of Hamas toward reconciliation which, for Cairo, facilitates cooperation with Hamas.

However, the official said Hamas must remain separate from the Muslim Brotherhood and not interfere in Egyptian matters.

The Egyptian president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi strongly backs the national unity government will not prevent permanently opening Rafah as long as it is directed by the "legal" Palestinian authorities, the official said.

A meeting in Egypt between Sisi and Abbas will consider "real promises" for opening the crossing and organizing Egyptian-Palestinian cooperation now that reconciliation has succeeded, the official concluded.

The Rafah crossing is the principal connection between Gaza's 1.7 million people and the outside world, but Egypt maintains it tightly shut as part of the jointly-enforced Israeli blockade.

The Gaza Strip suffers from widespread shortages and recurrent humanitarian crises as a result of the siege, which has been in place since 2007.
1 ) Mel / USA
07/06/2014 21:33
Well,that would help a little,to the south.But,nothing takes priority over the UNGA international community finally ENDING,Israel's 67yr Zionist occupation of the E& N,& W over the Mediterranean Sea,not to mention IAF occupying the all air-space over Palestine.And,all said &done,Egypt is where Israel wants to PUSH all Gazan's.And WB Palestinians into Jordan.Sisi is still under orders from Tel Aviv & D.C.too.
All Israel's collective punishment of non-Jews,(war crime)must end,period!

2 ) jv / Canada
07/06/2014 22:06
Really great news for Gaza. The next story to appear should be Bibi going off like a bomb at the news.

3 ) Bemused / New Zealand
07/06/2014 23:16
The irony! A thug who stole power in a military coup has the gall to talk about "legal" authorities!! Puhlease!

4 ) Tibi / Tubas
07/06/2014 23:19
Hamas selected half the unity government, so the unity government will allow Hamas militants to come and go through Rafah without concern for terrorism, despite both the PLO promises to fight terrorism, and the Hamas promise to accept PLO promises !!

5 ) Good news / USA
07/06/2014 23:35
Well this is good news, shows what can happen when the government gets unified. This will be a great relief to the people of Gaza. May this be the beginning of undoing the blockade. Peace. How are the Israeli's going to react to this one.

6 ) d'Arc / USA
07/06/2014 23:58
This could be great. Importing needed concrete wall material for the Israeli border, export ability for greenhouse stuff to Europe. Jobs and prosperity, import gas drilling equipment for tapping the gas fields. New energy sources. Build a desalination plant or several and be able to sell water. Need a dyke for rising sea levels. Coordinate with Egypt. Ignore Israel.

7 ) Arnold / Canada
08/06/2014 00:32
The only shortage in Gaza is a populace with guts to make peace with Israel.

8 ) Tibi / Tubas
08/06/2014 00:57
- Egypt is More Eager than just "willing" to be free from managing Gaza, just as Israel is More Eager than just "willing" to be free from managing the Arab cities in the West Banks's Area A, and villages in Area B, and - If the Unity government doesn't fight terrorism, as the PLO promised, to which Hamas recently promised to abide, then they will be responsible for the next war that kills 100s, and devastates Gaza, just like the last one !!

9 ) S.R.H. Hashmi / Pakistan
08/06/2014 06:41
Permanent opening of Rafah crossing would be an excellent move which will prove that El-Sissi does not think only of maintaining his own power-base, for which he is prepared even to do Israelis dirty work for them by maintaining a strangulating blockade of the people of Gaza but is also prepared to rescue the oppressed Palestinians. What Israel does is bad enough and at least Muslims should help fellow Muslims in distress, endeavouring to alleviate their suffering as much as possible. Karachi

10 ) Horge / Bolivia
08/06/2014 07:37
Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi, before taking the oath of office on Tuesday June 10, became the first regime head to strike out at the Palestinian unity government installed in Ramallah on June 24. He has strengthened the siege on its Gaza partner, Hamas. Cairo insists that the Rafah crossing stays shut unless Hamas hands control over to the Palestinian Authority, which will never happen.

11 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
08/06/2014 08:58
This article must be wrong, since Palestinians have been saying that it is Israel and only Israel that is blockading Gaza. I am surprised that Maan actually wrote "the jointly-enforced" blockade, since previously all articles referred only to the "Israeli blockade". Or I guess the truth is finally coming out and Maan is doing a better job of reporting the facts.

12 ) Mel / USA
08/06/2014 16:16
#9:Are you Zionist! LOL! B4 U kiss El Sisi's feet for opening Rafah remember that Egypt,is where Zionist-Israel WANTS nearly 2 million Pals & Hamas,in Gaza,to go,permanently,so Israel can say they"voluntarily left",like in '47-48(Absentee Laws &(Jewish)Land Acquistion Act).US-proxy Sisi,is paid to to HELP Israel either blockade Gazan's,or filter them out,South!But Gazan's have the right to move N & E too,equally.Rafah is an EXIT from Palestine.The doors NWE(still closed by Israel)LEAD HOME!

13 ) Outlier / USA
10/06/2014 05:57
(first comment spiked) Willing? Maybe. Ready? Not without some major guarantees from the unity government that tunnel trade and support for Islamic extremists in Sinai and beyond will end.

14 ) gabi / australia
11/06/2014 06:00
# 11 Brian, Brian, Brian - I worry for you. I worry about your eyesight. I have read, many times, references to Egypt closing crossings, and, indeed, I have read you posting something along the lines of "See, it's not only Israel blockading, Eqypt does it too . . . " Have you forgotten? (I haven't.) But as to your eyesight, over here we have optical dispensers, called Specsavers - very cheap, reasonably good quality glasses. Importantly, they check that you can see quite well out of BOTH eyes.

15 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
13/06/2014 14:32
Palestinian prime minister Hamdallah is quoted in the New York Times as saying there have been no discussions with Egypt over opening the Rafah crossing. As long as Hamas has its army and Salafists are running around Gaza with rockets and other arms, I doubt that Egypt is going to allow Rafah to be open on a continuous basis.
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