“Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas took control of the Palestinian side of the enclave’s main goods crossing with Israel, the strip’s interior ministry and an official news agency said Sunday, after the Palestinian Authority guards left the terminal.
The PA said Sunday that Hamas had “expelled (its) employees and banned them from entering the crossing,” while Hamas asserted that the PA forces left of their own will.
In a statement, Hamas interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozm said its forces are carrying out “necessary security measures” at the crossing, “especially after the recent events in the Gaza Strip.”
The official PA news site Wafa reported Sunday that the measures included requiring PA forces to provide their fingerprints to their Hamas counterparts — a request they refused. The PA employees had been barred from reaching the crossing for the past three days, according to Wafa.”
Avi Issacharoff explains the story’s background:
“Between 2007, when Hamas took control of Gaza from the PA in a violent coup, and November 2017, the Strip’s various crossings with Israel, including Kerem Shalom, were run by Gazan workers unaffiliated with the PA, meaning they received their salaries from Hamas.
After the partial and temporary reconciliation agreement between the Fatah-led PA and Hamas that month, PA officials returned to the crossings to manage the Gazan side.
On Sunday, for reasons that are not yet fully clear, the PA officials walked out of the Kerem Shalom crossing and have yet to return.
Hamas claims the move was part of the PA’s efforts to punish the group and was intended to shutter the vital crossing. PA officials, meanwhile, complain that their clerks were “expelled” by Hamas officials who took over the administration of the crossing.”
Notwithstanding this latest dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the crossing is to date still operational.
While BBC audiences have seen no coverage of that story, the BBC’s ‘Palestinian territories’ profile (last updated in December 2017) and timeline continue to tell audiences that in October 2017 “a government of national unity assumed control of Gaza public institutions” and “Hamas lets the Ramallah-based unity government take over public institutions in Gaza as part of a reconciliation process between the two rival administrations” – despite yet another incident that shows that those claims are patently inaccurate.