Who is really closing the Rafah crossing?

Gisha is an Israeli human rights organisation which campaigns for freedom of movement. With Physicians for Human Rights they have produced a 184 page report (in pre-final draft form at time of writing) on the political motivations of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority for closing the Rafah crossing (between Gaza and Egypt). I haven’t read it properly yet – here it is. It’s a painstaking, clearly-sourced, careful consideration of rights and responsibilities.

The report says that the principal responsibility for (not cause of) the closure is Israel’s.

Alongside analyses of the roles of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the US and the EU (read these) I want to draw attention to the section on the interests of the Hamas regime on p168, including its responsibility for rights in Gaza as an armed group with a political structure and control over the residents of the territory, including:

“Under the present circumstances, Hamas’ objection to Israeli involvement in operating the Gaza border crossings constitutes an obstacle to them opening.

Hamas’ declarations as to its willingness to allow the PA to operate Rafah crossing are not unambiguous.

… Rafah crossing is used as a battleground in the conflict between Hamas and the PA, and the victims are the residents of the Gaza Strip, whom Hamas controls directly and for whom it is responsible.”

Ditto much else of what Hamas says with regards to these negotiations – which, rather than official statements, comes in the form of interview remarks. I think it would be a significantly positive development if Hamas were to put the people of Gaza first and allow this involvement. I also find it illustrative of Hamas’ stated aims to obliterate Israel and its Jewish residents that it has not. Hamas is a difficult enemy to negotiate with because it is theocratic. Hamas, which claims to answer to a higher authority, is not currently known for giving a toss about human rights. When adults and children die in explosions at its bomb-making works, Hamas calls them martyrs. It must be difficult to get the point about human rights across to Hamas.

I digress from the report, which you should read.

To come: post on current state of the new Israeli governing coalition.

One thought on “Who is really closing the Rafah crossing?

  1. Pingback: Water relationship possibilities between Israel and Gazans « Greens Engage

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