EU monitors to stay away from Rafah

Monitors will not return to crossing until Abbas's Force 17 takes control.

June 28, 2007 03:41
2 minute read.
rafah crossing, jam packed 298 ap

rafah crossing, jam pack. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


European monitors will not return to the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Sinai while Hamas is in control there, but only if Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Force 17 "Presidential Guard" regains authority over the crossing, the deputy head of the monitoring force said on Wednesday. Patrick Delval, the deputy head of EU BAM-Rafah, said at a press briefing that the border crossing had been closed since June 9, four days before the Hamas-Fatah fighting intensified. He said the crossing, with an estimated €5 million worth of equipment, was now in Hamas's hands, but that he had not heard any reports of damage there. The EU's ambassador to Israel, Ramiro Cibrian, said that the legal basis for the deployment of the EU force to Rafah was the agreement on movement and access from November 2005, which clearly stipulated that the Presidential Guard would control the crossing. Now that Force 17 is no longer there, the terms of the agreement are not being met, making it impossible for the EU force to take up their positions. The 70-man force is in Ashkelon, waiting for further orders. Cibrian said the EU recognized the government of PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad as the legitimate government of the Palestinians. He said Hamas had to decide whether it wanted confrontation with Israel, or peaceful existence. Until it decided, he said, it would be impossible for the EU force to man any Gaza crossings. There was no talk in Brussels of having EU BAM man the Karni cargo crossing with Israel, Cibrian said. While Hamas's takeover of Gaza has made it impossible for EU BAM to do its work, in the West Bank the appointment of the new emergency government has given a new lease on life to EU COPPS, an EU coordinating office for Palestinian police support. When Hamas was in control of the government, EU COPPS was inactive, because as a result of the EU's policy of not dealing with Hamas, it could not deal with the police, which was under the authority of the Hamas-controlled PA Interior Ministry. Now, according to Lucien Vermeir, the deputy head of EU COPPS, the group will be able to engage with the new non-Hamas government and move various projects forward. Cibrian, meanwhile, said the EU did not favor reconstituting a Hamas-Fatah unity government, something that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov advocated during his visit here. Lavrov made this point during his meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday. Israel is adamantly opposed to another PA unity government. "The EU believes that Palestinian unity is a good idea," Cibrian said, "but not the reconstitution of the government. I don't think the EU sees the reestablishment of the government as practical."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018
December 17, 2018
Google to spend $1 bln to establish new campus in New York