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How Israel and Egypt are coordinating on Gaza

By threatening to close the Gaza Rafah crossing point, Egypt signals to Hamas that it must reconcile with Fatah.
A Palestinian waits for his relatives to return into Gaza after the Egyptian Authority opened the Rafah Border Crossing for one day, in the southern Gaza Strip February 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RC179BE19FB0
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The Hamas delegation that visited Cairo on July 11 — led by the deputy head of the organization’s political wing, Saleh al-Arouri — faces a difficult decision. Unless it can prove its sincere willingness to advance the reconciliation process with the Fatah movement, Egypt will shut down the Rafah crossing — Gaza’s only passage to the outside world apart from the crossings into Israel.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has tasked the head of the country’s intelligence services, Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel, with seeing through the endless saga between the two sides. On July 4, PLO Executive Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad told Kamel that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was adamant about getting control of Gaza’s security forces as part of the reconciliation. However, the 83-year-old Palestinian leader had also concluded that he would have to achieve reconciliation with Hamas in order to wrap up his term with dignity and retire, according to Ahmed.

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