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Analysis

Palestinian Authority Rejects Israeli Offer to Control Rafah Border Crossing

Foundation for Defense of Democracies
13.5.24

The Palestinian Authority is quick to go to the United Nations and demand recognition as a state. But when it comes to actually doing what is required of a state, such as manning the border of territory it claims, the PA is nowhere to be found.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected an Israeli offer to control the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, as reported by Sky News Arabic on May 13. The Rafah crossing is crucial for the movement of goods and people between Egypt and Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) took control of the Gaza side of the crossing on May 7, under pressure from Washington to hand it over to the PA. However, the PA declined without Israel's commitment to Palestinian statehood.


Expert opinions vary, with David May criticizing the PA for not taking responsibility for the border, and Haisam Hassanein accusing Egypt of obstructing efforts to ensure peace in Gaza due to its dealings with Hamas.


Approximately 360,000 civilians have evacuated Rafah since Israel's operation began on May 6, aimed at destroying Hamas and rescuing 132 hostages. Egypt has refused to assist with humanitarian efforts at the Rafah crossing, blaming Israel for the situation's deterioration and expressing concerns over safety due to potential Hamas attacks. Egypt has also refused to accept displaced Palestinian civilians since October.

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