Hamas Gives Control of Gaza Border to Palestinian Authority

Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza
Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt in 2012. Photo: Gigi Ibrahim/Flickr

Hamas handed control of Gaza’s border crossings to the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday as part of a deal the two parties made last month in Cairo.

PA officials took control of the Rafah and Karam Abu Salem border crossings with Egypt and the Erez crossing with Israel.

According to Al Jazeera, the PA will also be in charge of cargo crossing points at Karni and Sufa.

Last month the PA and Hamas agreed to a reconciliation deal that included border security. They also agreed to hold legislative, national council and presidential elections within a year.

Hamas has administered the Gaza strip for a decade after splitting with Mahmoud Abbas‘ Fatah party in June 2007. The two parties entered Egypt-brokered talks in an attempt to reconcile the dispute, and met in September for the first time in nearly three years.

Both the PA and Hamas are hoping the new deal leads to fewer restrictions on Gaza’s economy and movement across the border. The Rafah crossing remains closed, but PA civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Tuesday that the government intends to work with Egypt to reopen it by November 15.