Egypt: Palestinian Authority delegation negotiating permanent opening of Rafah crossing

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Some officials from a Palestinian Authority delegation will stay in Cairo following the departure of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the possibility of permanently opening the Rafah border crossing.
The negotiations will follow up on talks between President Abbas and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday, Abbas’s spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeinah said on the sidelines of an Arab-South American summit in Riyadh on Wednesday.
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Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the central committee of Abbas’s Fatah faction, and Palestinian intelligence chief Maged Farag remain in Cairo to discuss the opening of the crossing which acts as the sole exit for the roughly 1.8 million population of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
The ongoing talks seek to put in place “a plan to address the issue and set criteria for the continuous movement of people and goods,” Abu Rudeinah said, adding that the Palestinian delegation discussed the possibility of opening the crossing permanently in a way that would “alleviate the suffering of the strip’s population while ensuring the security of the Egyptian side.”
Egypt occasionally opens the vital crossing for Gazan travelers who use it as their only exit outside the enclave. The country has cracked down on underground tunnels used to smuggle goods into the strip, voicing concerns they were used to channel weapons to Sinai-based militants.

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