A Former Egyptian Ambassador:Camp David Peace Treaty Provides for Opening Rafah Crossing 24 Hours

In an interview with Masr Al-Arabia, the first Egyptian Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Karim stated that the Camp David peace treaty provides the opening of the Rafah crossing 24 hours a day throughout the year except for on the first day of Eid Al-Adha and 6 October, which is a national holiday in Egypt.” 

However, the former Egyptian official said, “After Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, an access and movement agreement was signed by US Secretary of State at that time, Condoleezza Rice, on behalf of Israel” stressing that Egypt was party to the agreement.

In this context, “Israel has demanded an agreement be signed which stipulates the Egyptian crossing not be opened except when Israeli or European troops are present, similar to when it was under the European Union’s control after the Israeli withdrawal and before Hamas took over the enclave in June 2007,” according to the former Egyptian official.

Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

Egypt has kept its border with Gaza largely shut since the military coup in 2013 , following the ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

The border crossing was opened for only 21 days throughout 2015, according to the Hamas Interior Ministry based in Gaza. The crossing has been reopened more regularly in 2016.