Condoleeza Rice compelled the Israelis to give control of the Egypt-Gaza border to the Palestinians, and in the last few days there have been numerous self-congratulatory articles about the “freedom” the Palestinians have felt while crossing to and from Egypt without elaborate security checks. But Israel’s main objection to giving up control of the crossing — that jihad terrorists and war materiel would be able to cross unhindered — has not been addressed. And the exclusion of the EU from the process takes away just one more check against that eventuality. From Middle East Newsline, with thanks to Gabrielle Goldwater:
TEL AVIV [MENL] — The European Union has been denied enforcement authority at the Palestinian Authority terminal along the Egypt-Gaza border.
An agreement for the operation of the Rafah border crossing has limited the role of EU personnel to monitoring. Under a Nov. 23 accord, released on Monday by the privately-owned Independent Media Review & Analysis, the EU would not have the authority to either detain suspicious people or confiscate baggage at Rafah….
The accord said an EU monitor could require a PA security officer to re-examine baggage or vehicles deemed suspicious.
But the EU monitor could not order PA officers to block the passage of either suspicious people or baggage. The accord said that an EU monitor unhappy with the performance of PA security officers could register a complaint with their commanders.