Reopening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza is delayed

Israel minister Shaul Mofaz stipulated a CCTV to directly relay live images of incoming traffic from Sinai as a matter of high security, while Palestinian minister Mohammed Dahlan stuck to his claim of sovereignty. Middle East Quartet coordinator James Wolfensohn was furious over not being able to open the terminal in time for the arrival of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice Nov.14
debkafile adds: Israel agreed to European inspectors taking over its 38-year old security presence at the terminal – provided long-distance monitoring of traffic was possible via a computer hookup to CCTV cameras. This was necessary because the Palestinians deny the European inspectors the authority to bar entry or make arrests. At their meeting in Brussels, Monday, Nov. 7, EU foreign ministers accepted this and agreed to deploy border inspectors for three years, solely “to instruct the Palestinians” on their functions.
No one will therefore guard the Palestinian gate to Egypt against terrorists incoming from anywhere to converge on the Gaza.
However, the Quartet’s document on the Rafah terminal focuses heavily on Palestinian economic development and demands for sovereignty, neglecting (a sieve with very large holes) questions of security and terrorist infiltration.
By the same token, the Quartet insists on Israel keeping the Karni and Erez crossings from Gaza open in all circumstances for the passage of at least 150 trucks of Palestinian produce a day. Both crossings have been regularly targeted by Palestinian terrorists at heavy cost of life to Israeli civilians and soldiers. They were closed because the Palestinians have made no effort to make installations secure.
These smuggling routes are well out of range of Rafah border cameras and will be invisible to the European “inspectors.”

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