BRUSSELS, November 16, 2017 (WAFA0 – The European Union (EU) said on Wednesday that it will be holding further talks with the various parties on the deployment of its mission at Rafah crossing with Egypt.
An EU spokesperson said that in continuing its support for Palestinian reconciliation, the EU is deploying a high level mission this week “to discuss with key interlocutors on the ground the political and security conditions and the expectations of the relevant parties in view of a possible redeployment of the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) at Rafah, including possible EU financial assistance.”
Following the agreement signed by Fatah and Hamas in Cairo on 12 October and in the run-up to a meeting of all Palestinian factions in Cairo on 21 November, “the European Union is continuing its support to current efforts to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under one single and legitimate Palestinian Authority,” said the spokesperson.
“Opening all crossing points, under the management and control of the Palestinian Authority, will be crucial for freedom of movement for the people of Gaza and for enabling the Palestinian Authority to resume its full responsibilities in Gaza and achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
“We expect all Palestinian factions to work together in good faith towards that goal, and to refrain from any irresponsible actions or rhetoric that could distract from this important process and that would jeopardize collective efforts to improve the situation of the people of Gaza,” concluded the EU spokesperson.
Based on the 2005 Movement and Access Agreement regarding Gaza crossings with Egypt and Israel, the EU should deploy a force at the Rafah crossing to monitor movement of Palestinians in and out of the Gaza Strip.
The EU mission’s work was suspended following Hamas takeover of power in Gaza in 2007.