The Palestinian Authority retook control of Gaza’s border crossings from Hamas militants Wednesday, a key step in an Egyptian-brokered effort to end a decade-old rift that has hampered the Palestinians’ bid for statehood.
The Palestinian Authority now controls the Rafah transit point with Egypt as well as the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings into Israel, the isolated coastal enclave’s only land outlets to the world. The United Nations hailed the transfer as a “landmark development” that could end Egyptian and Israeli frontier closures that have choked the Gazan economy.
A lingering question mark over the fate of Hamas’ weapons could yet undermine the deal, however. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against any “bogus” unity bid that would threaten Israel if Hamas, which Israel considers a terrorist organization, is allowed to keep its guns.
(c) 2017, Bloomberg · Lin Noueihed, Saud Abu Ramadan