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News and scenes from Rafah border?
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Gaza City: The border entry between Gaza and Egypt has been the most important issue after Israel withdrawal from inside Gaza about a week ago.

Palestinian and Egyptian authorities have been trying very hard to bring the border situation under control. Many thousands of people from both sides have crossed to both Gaza and Egypt in the last week.

I the past two days, however, crossing has become much stricter. Hundreds of Egyptian soldiers were seen deployed along the 14 KMs long border road.

The main gate of Rafah border entry is still closed. According to a statement by the minister of communication, Sabri Saidam, he announced, yesterday, 19/9, that Rafah crossing opening is waiting for a political decision. Negotiations are going on between Palestinians and Israeli about Rafah entry. Many observers expect an announcement on when Rafah entry open within days. One Palestinian commander of south Gaza, Mr. Jamal Kayed, told media sources that Rafah entry should open within days. However, everyone is waiting for the news which results from the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

On another development, the Palestinian ministry of Civil Affairs announced that a temporary agreement has been reached with Israel concerning urgent cases such as sick cases or students who study abroad. That means such groups are going to leave in buses from Eritz check point in north of Gaza and travel to Kerim Shalom border point in the south between Israel, Egypt and Gaza. The spokesman, Mr. Majed, from Ministry of Civil Affairs, stressed the point that such agreement is only temporary until a solution is worked out for the Rafah main entry point.

Analysts are seeing that the border main gate shall be open by Thursday, 22/9, or Friday, 23/9. However, the next couple of days will confirm such expectation. It is important to repeat and highlight the statement by the minister of communication who said on Monday, 19/9, that the opening of Rafah main gate for travelers is “a political decision”.

News is developing by the day. And we shall keep you in touch with the latest.

Reported by B. Samed

Sept. 20th. 2005


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