Hamas hands over Gaza border crossings to PA


Hamas has handed over administrative control of 5 border crossings in Gaza to the Palestinian Authority. 

Wednesday’s handover, the first in over a decade, is share of a deal agreed on in essentially the most up-to-date spherical of Egypt-brokered reconciliation talks between Hamas and the PA-ruled Fatah political get collectively in Cairo on October 12.

Fatah spokesperson Osama Qawasmeh instructed Al Jazeera that no prerequisites had been place by Fatah or Hamas for the handover.

“The danger is completely a subject of restoring the location quo support under the Palestinian Authority’s control, as changed into once the case sooner than the 2007 gash up,” he stated, relating to the political schism that ended with Hamas taking on the Gaza Strip after an attempted coup by US-backed Fatah strongman Mohammad Dahlan.

The PA will buy administrative payment of the three cargo crossings including the Karam Abu Salem crossing on the Egyptian border, as wisely as the Rafah and Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossings – the latter which is controlled by Israel within the north of the Strip. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the PA minister of civil affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, stated the nationwide cohesion authorities is willing to work carefully with Egyptian authorities to prepare the Rafah border crossing for operation by November 15, as specified by the 2005 Agreement on Hurry and Access.

Rafah, the first border crossing within the south of the Gaza Strip, has been largely closed to Gaza’s population of two million since Hamas took over.

The other crossing, Erez, is located within the north of the strip and is jog by Israel.

The PA will also be accountable of the three cargo crossing parts of Karni, Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) and Sufa.

‘Better fine of existence’

Qawasmeh stated that this handover would manufacture the lives of Palestinians in Gaza “mighty more straightforward”.

“This can absolute self belief wait on enable a sizable share of folks’s lives to commute outside the Gaza Strip for no topic aim much like seeking medical remedy, mission a scholarship in a university, and gradual commute,” he stated.

“The circulation of products will be facilitated sooner and will manufacture it more straightforward for import and export alternate,” he added.

Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesperson, echoed his counterpart.

“We hope that handing over control would consequence in a better fine of existence for Palestinians within the Gaza Strip,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

He careworn out that handing over control changed into once no longer a security danger, but reasonably a logistical one.

Governing the ‘mega-jail’

On the opposite hand, Alaa Tartir, the programme director of the Palestinian policy community Al-Shabaka, stated that the transfer of administrative border control “does no longer necessarily translate into a meaningful nationwide reconciliation and cohesion”.

“Assuming that the mere replacement of personnel on the borders and crossings will settle on the siege on Gaza is a naive and harmful assumption,” Tartir stated.

“It is a take a look at to survey the fragility or durability of the recent reconciliation settlement.”

“It’ll be most principal to acknowledge that Israel, as an occupying power, will live the de facto holder of power over borders and crossings,” he continued.

“This can only replace when the Israeli occupation ends. The Hamas-Fatah infighting about who will ‘arrange’ the borders and crossings is merely a combat about who will ‘govern’ the mega-jail.”

Since Hamas took over in 2007, Israel has imposed an air, naval and land blockade on the Gaza Strip, a stretch of land measuring 51km in length and 11km in width. Earlier this 365 days, the PA added stress on Hamas’ authorities by requesting Israel to gash off its electricity supply to Gaza.

A subject of protocol

Qawasmeh stated that the closure of the border crossings changed into once on account of the absence of a “pleasant authorities” and that issues are sooner or later “going support to traditional”.

He also stated that the correct transfer of border control don’t hold mighty pomp and fanfare.

“The skill of handing over control is factual a subject of protocol,” Qawasmeh stated. “The right kind case is the likelihood of Hamas – which up unless now has been obvious – to entirely transfer all powers to the nationwide cohesion authorities as changed into once stipulated in essentially the most up-to-date reconciliation settlement.”

The following spherical of reconciliation talks will happen in Cairo on November 21, where Qassem and Qawasmeh stated the discussion would focal point on logistics of administration and security of the Gaza Strip.

-Extra reporting by Farah Najjar

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