Tensions between Hamas and the Egyptian regime over delays and restrictions of movement at the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing have been eased in overnight talks, according to Maan News Agency. Given delays in travel to and from Gaza both Hamas and Egyptian authorities accused the other of failing to implement a system to ease the flow of people.
The two sides have agreed to cap the amount of people travelling to 400 per day and to release the list of those permitted to travel the day before. The list will prioritise students and those travelling for medical reasons.
Egypt’s list of 5,000 blacklisted individuals who are prevented from travelling to Gaza for security reasons had angered Hamas, however both sides have agreed to undertake talks to resolve the matter.
Hamas has called on Gazans to respect Egypt’s security so as not to endanger the recent ease in restrictions at Rafah.
The new measures at the Rafah crossing do not signal an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza; imposed since 2005 and tightened with Hamas capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. Goods are still not permitted to move to and from the crossing and must go through Israel’s crossing at Eratz. Those allowed to travel through Rafah must still possess an Israeli approved Gaza ID card. This prevents freedom of movement to those from the West Bank who wish to travel to Gaza and those inside Gaza who were never granted an ID, numbering the tens of thousands, from exiting.