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Egypt allows Omani delegation to enter Gaza for half an hour

The Ministry of Interior in Gaza said that the Egyptian government allowed an Omani delegation to enter the Gaza Strip via Rafah for 30 minutes on Thursday evening, allowing them to deliver humanitarian and food supplies.

The Minister issued a press release stating that the delegation affiliated with the Omani Public Authority for Charity, entered the Gaza Strip, accompanied by a convoy of approximately 20 trucks filled with humanitarian aid and food supplies.

Last month, the Minister of Interior in the Gaza Strip had issued a statement clarifying that there had been "a nearly complete halt in the in the movement of delegations and convoys entering the Gaza Strip, especially when compared to those following the Gaza War of 2012".

Palestinian officials accused the Egyptian government of preventing dozens of delegations and supplies from entering the Gaza Strip as the Rafah crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip to Egypt, has been reserved for the movement of individuals exclusively. Rafah is Gaza's only portal to the outside world and it has been closed almost permanently since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in June of 2013.

The ceasefire agreement that was reached between Israeli and Palestinian factions on 26 August 2014 did not touch upon the issue of opening the Rafah border, as it is considered a "Egyptian-Palestinian" port that Israel has nothing to do with.

According to the crossing agreement that was signed by Israeli and Palestinian factions in 2005, there should be two European peacekeeping observers and Israeli cameras present at all borders to ensure that they remain open.

Yet, Israel prevented European observers from entering the Gaza Strip in mid-2006 after Hamas captured Israeli solider, Gilad Shalit.

Since that time, the Rafah border has not been regulated according to any agreement, as the Egyptian authorities only open the border at periodic intervals or when there are humanitarian cases requiring them to do so. Egyptian authorities consider whether the Rafah crossing is open or closed as a question of their sovereignty, one that can only be negotiated with the Palestinian Authority, as Egypt considers the PA to be the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Hamas has no objection to allowing the Palestinian Authority the chance to negotiate this point as long as the Rafah crossing remains open permanently.

AfricaEgyptMiddle EastNewsOmanPalestine
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