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Nathan Shashar: This is why Egypt and Israel are fighting over emergency aid

Nathan Shashar: This is why Egypt and Israel are fighting over emergency aid

Behind all the different solutions for entering Gaza, the old fox game of weapons, money and influence hides. Egypt has a regular border crossing with the Gaza Strip, called the Rafah crossing, and it is located a good distance south of the city of Rafah. Most of the sector's economy, both open and black, is through it.

Since Israel's withdrawal from the Strip in 2005, and Hamas's takeover of the area in 2007, the 14-kilometre border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has been one of Egypt's and Hamas' most profitable business ventures.

Photo: Christoph Sweder/TT

It does not only apply to fees For the import of daily goods, but above all bribes and percentages on weapons, people and prohibited raw materials that pass partly through Rafah control, and partly through the numerous underground tunnels between the two areas.

Each of the tens of thousands of people who have fled Gaza since October has paid between 50,000 and 100,000 kroner. Each of the hundreds of thousands of rockets brought into Gaza in parts has cost Hamas and Iran huge sums of money in fees to the Egyptian soldiers who control the flow of rockets – and then share the proceeds with their commanders and politicians in Cairo.

He conquered the other week Israel Gaza side of the Rafah crossing from Hamas. Then Egypt stopped all traffic there. Official explanations have been about sovereignty and lofty principles, but few question the real reason behind Egypt's upset: if Israel gains veto power over who moves through the Rafah checkpoint, the operation will be far less profitable. Indeed, Israeli leaks indicated that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s son, intelligence officer Mahmoud El-Sisi, is one of the biggest losers from clearing the procedures surrounding the Rafah checkpoint.

Egyptian patrol at the Rafah border crossing.  The photo was taken on a previous occasion.

Photography: Amr Nabil/AP

Israel is now conducting negotiations with Egypt on how to resume traffic in Rafah. Israel has agreed to roll back the blockade itself and allow private security companies to manage the bureaucracy surrounding cargo convoys. For Israel, it is important that as much aid as possible reaches Gaza through Egypt, rather than through Israel. Israeli nationalists stop and attack trucks heading to Gaza every night, with the approval of Israeli Police Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

Another Egyptian problem is the new floating shipping dock built by the United States south of Gaza City, which receives – via Cyprus – an increasing share of Gaza's food imports. If it becomes permanent, this means corresponding burning for the Egyptian Customs Authority.

fact.Gaza border crossings

There are six regular crossings between the Gaza Strip and the outside world, the Rafah crossing to Egypt and five others to Israel. They are primarily charging stations – only a few people pass through them. In recent years, the only Israeli crossing has been the Erez crossing at the northern end of the Gaza Strip. Hamas destroyed the Erez crossing during the invasion of southwestern Israel last October, and it is now being rebuilt. Trucks do not move between areas, and trailers are separated at the border and brought into the Gaza Strip by local vehicles.

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