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The Rafah Border Crossing In Egypt-A History Of The Openings And Closings

The Rafah Border crossing is the only crossing point between Gaza and Egypt and between the state of Palestine and Egypt. The Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979 recognized the Gaza-Egypt border for the first time in1979. The name of this point was Rafah land port earlier. The Rafah Border crossing only allows the people to pass through it. For the passage of traffic and all kinds of goods one has to use the Kerem Shalom Border crossing.

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The gates

The Israel Airports authority use to manage the Rafah land port which was the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt until 11 September 2005 when Israel had disconstructed its settlement. The Rafah land port is known as the Salal al-Gate. The Rafah land port was bombarded by the Israeli in October 2009 to destroy the tunnels. The new Rafah crossing point was built to the south of Rafah.

Statistics

It was in the year 2005 that the Israeli disengaged themselves from the Rafah border crossing, since then the monthly number of entries and exits through the Rafah crossing reached around forty thousand. However after the capture of the Isreli soldier Gilad Shalit in June 2006 the crossing remained closed for over senty six percent of the time and finally after the Hamas took over the Gaza strip the Rafah border crossing was permanently closed except for limited openings once in two to three months.

Closures of the border

From the years 2005 to July 2007 both Egypt and Palestine were together in control of the Rafah Border crossing. The crossing was opened on a daily basis until 2006.The Hamas led Government gave threats that would terminate the Rafah border crossing agreement if border crossing was not reopened. However from June 25 to 21 October 2006 the crossing point was open for a total number of fourteen days.

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Thousands of Palestinians on waiting list at Rafah

It was in May 2016 that for the first time in three months Egypt opened its borders with gaza. After Israel imposed a siege on the Gaza strip in 2007 The Rafah border is the only gateway for the Palestinians in Gaza.

As a result of the total closure, around one point eight million people is under arrest condition in the Gaza strip which is causing real distress to their mental well being. A total of around thirty thousand people are still waiting to cross at Rafah and all these people are residents of Gaza. It was after Abdel Fattah el-Sisi together with the Egyptian military usurped the rule of President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 that the relations with Gaza went from bad to worse.

Thus the people residing at Gaza are going through a very tough time. Thousands of people are in the waiting list to cross the Rafah border crossing.

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Best Restaurants in Rafah Palestine

If you are making plans to go on a trip to Rafah In Palestine then you must be interested to know about the best restaurants that the place has to offer. If you are a foodie person then this place is the right choice for you as you will get to enjoy the culinary delights of different countries. This place is well known for its Mexican cuisine, Italian cuisine, German cuisine and Pakistani cuisine.

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Some of the top restaurants:

One of the restaurants that you will be delighted to visit if you went to Rafah in Palestine is the XimplyChriz cafe which is world famous for its cakes which are good in quality and have a wonderful and delicious taste. All the staff members of this cafe are extremely cordial and friendly.  The other things that you will certainly appreciate about this cafe are its quality coffee, tasty desert and the spic and span environment.

Japanese Excapade Sushi Restaurant

Another very popular restaurant of this place is the well known Japanese Excapade Sushi Restaurant which offers good quality Japanese food at very affordable prices. The staffs of this restaurant are well known for their warmth and hospitality and this place provides amazing and delicious sushi, sashmi and other mouth watering Japanese dishes. If you want to enjoy Japanese cuisine then the Japanese Excapade sushi Restaurant is the right place for you.

Deals Restaurant

The Deals Restaurant at the Radisson hotel is another very popular and famous restaurant of this place. You will certainly appreciate the interior decoration of the Deals restaurant which looks very classy and sophisticate. At the Deals Restaurant you will get to enjoy all kinds of delicious and mouth watering dishes. You can go for the non vegetarian as well as the vegetarian dishes as the restaurant is famous for both. You can try out some of the chicken and tan door dishes. This top class restaurant is well known for its delicious deserts so you must try the desert. If you visit this restaurant once then you will definitely want to come back again as you will fall in love with the ambience and the tasty food.

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Now that you have an idea about some of the top restaurants in Rafah in Palestine you can visit them when you go to Rafah. Apart from these there are plenty of other restaurants however these restaurants have a brand name and good image and you will definitely like the overall ambience that these restaurants have to offer. These restaurants also provide some of the most exciting and adventurous night life which you are surely going to enjoy. If you want to taste some really good food and take a few quality drinks then these restaurants will definitely make you happy and satisfied. The best part about all these restaurants is that they are not at all expensive. To the contrary they are all very affordable. So you can enjoy at these restaurants without thinking about money.

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Places To Visit In Rafah, Egypt And The Surrounding Area

The beauty of nature has such magnetism in itself that for the beginning of the civilization, human beings are inquisitive to explore it mysteries, that’s why when the question is to go for a travel, no one will left back. Nature is present with her different beauties in different places and if your concern is to witness the beauty of the endless golden sand, the name of Egypt is sure to come on the list. This transcontinental country is spanning over the northwest corner of African continent and has earned so much popularity for being the destination of thousands of tourists every year.

Here is a list of the places that you must visit during your trip to Egypt Rafah and its surrounding

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Places to visit in Egypt

Once you visit Egypt, you will be surely confused of fix destination as each of the place of here tells a unique story but in the list of the must-visits in Egypt, the name of the Egyptian pyramids must be taken. These pyramids are things which have make the identity of Egypt as an exceptional country to the rest of the world. Along with these pyramids, also don’t miss to see the Valley of the Kings that consists the Pharaoh’s tombs and interment chambers.

Giza:

Portraying the picture of Egypt without its pyramid is just impossible. So once you stay in Egypt, don’t forget to visit Giza to see the great pyramid of here. Not only this, Giza is much more to offer you and the name of the Great Sphinx of Giza must be included in the list that you must visit in this city. You will also get to see the Giza pyramid complex here that isan archaeological location on the Giza Plateau.

Cairo:

When talking about the must-visits of Egypt, you just can’t miss the name of Cairo that is the capital of this country. This city of Egypt also consists a huge historical value. The Egyptian Museum that has around 120,000 items which are representing the ancient history of Egypt is a must visit of Cairo. You also can’t miss to visit the Khan el-Khalili market that is the major tourist attraction of here. This market is famous for providing traditional Egyptian stuffs. Hence, if you want to carry a piece of memory with you while returning, Khan el-Khalili market should be your ultimate destination.

Rafah- Your Egypt tour will surely be incomplete if you miss to visit Rafah. This small city is that is situated in the midst of the golden sand can act as a perfect retreat for you. Visit the archeological sites of the city to explore more about the history of Egypt.

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There would be hard to find a single person in the world who is not well-acquainted with the name of Egypt. Egypt is one of the countries of the world that is carrying the evidence of the ancient history of the world. The number of things that you will get to see in this country is actually numerous. Here is the list of those places which you really can’t miss to visit in Egypt.

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Things to do in Rafah

Nature has presented herself in her different beauty in different places. Each of beauties of the nature is sure to make to mind your blow. From the frozen mountains to the endless blue seas, everything has different beauty in itself and if you want to witness the engrossing beauty of the golden sand, you must visit Rafah.  It is a Palestinian city that is situated in the southern Gaza strip. This city is located at 30 km away from Gaza towards the South. The city which has the population of 71,003 people, has become a famous tourist destination at the present time.

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Visit the beauty of desert in a new way

As the result of the industrialization, people’s lifestyles are going through a sea change at the present time. Everyone is busy with their hectic and busy schedule and if you want to spend some days far away from the chaotic city life, Rafah is your must visit. Once you visit this city, you will get to explore the beauty of desert in a new way. The city which is situated in the midst of the desert will surely engross you with its unique beauty. Let yourself be absorbed in the murmur of the wide sand or set your destination to the unknown through enjoying the camel safari with your friends and family, Rafah will surely be the perfect retreat for you.

Get to explore the ancient history of the world

History carries the evidence of every single happening of the world. History is the mirror which provides everyone the chance to get closer to the ancient culture and tradition of the worlds. It depicts the story of the past. That’s why the history has always a mysticism in itself and Rafah is the city which is still carrying the evidence of history in its chest. This city is full of historical significance. Hence, you come into Rafah, don’t forget to visit then historical buildings and museums that are sketching the history of thousand years ago.

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Enjoy a shopping in this historical city

When your concern is to enjoy your best in this historical city, you just can’t miss to shop here. As said earlier that this city is enriched with historical value, and most importantly it is still carrying those ancient tradition of it which are clearly visible in the jewelries and dresses that are available here. Besides having a touch of elegancy, these dresses and jewelries of the city have a unique appearance. Hence, if you want to include some unique pieces of dresses and jewelries in your closet, you must go for the shopping after coming into city.

Along with all these, this city has more to offer you, for example you can enjoy the taste of the delicious Egyptian foods in the number of restaurants and hotels that are present in the city. So what are you waiting for! Book your hotel now and spend some days in Rafah to add some unforgettable memories in your life.

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Historical archaeological findings of Rafah

The History of Rafah and Egypt goes back to some 3000 years. Since time immemorial Egypt had to keep itself protected for which it had to engage in military fights. To stay protected from all kinds of foreign invasion and attacks they employed various defensive strategies and positions.

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Horus Military Route

The Horus military route is a famous historical and archaeological finding in Rafah which was created as a defence strategy. The Horus military route covers an approximate area of 217 miles by the sea. The Horus military route starts from Tharu and spans across to the border city of Egypt in Rafah. In the historical city of Rafah archaeologists have been able to discover a fort which had not been dug out. The chief of Egypt’s Supreme council of antiquities ZahiHawass made the formal announcement about this discovery. The Horus military route from Tharu to Rafah houses around eleven fortresses. We are informed about all this from the Temple of Karnak in Luxor. The particular fort about which we are discussing here is the fifth fortress that has been discovered. Another reason for which the fort is historically and archeologically important is the fact that they found a royal monument of king Thutmose 11. It was between the years 1516 to 1505 BC that king Thutmose 11 ruled over the whole of Egypt.

New Kingdom Temple

Another very important historical and archaeological discovery in Rafah is the New Kingdom temple. It was in the city of Sinai that this famous New Kingdom Temple was discovered. It is supposed to have been constructed sometime between 1569 to 1325 BC. The New Kingdom temple helps us to get a glimpse about the military strategy that the Egyptians of that time had adopted. It shows how the Egyptians organised a military set up throughout the country in order to protect themselves from foreign invasion and attacks. The Easter sea border was kept protected with the aid of these fortresses. The fortress helped the people who lived in the mainland by informing them about any invading army or threat. The fortresses had sufficient quantity of water and supply material. The route of the forts was used for both military as well as commercial purposes.

Mud brick was used to build the fort and it was 550 yards by 275 yards. There are several towers standing thirteen feet in height. The location of the fort is 500 kilometres from the famous Mediterranean Sea. The fort was Egypts headquarters for the military.

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These two the Horus Military route and the New Kingdom Temple are the two most important historical and archaeological findings in Rafah which is a border city of Egypt. These two historical and archaeological findings give us an insight into the military strategies that the Egyptians in those ancient times had adopted to keep themselves protected against any foreign invasion or threat. These two findings help us to understand the rich history of the Egyptians of those ancient times.

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A Brief History of Rafah

Rafah is an ancient city that plays a key if often understated role in Middle Eastern Politics.

Dating back to the time of the Pharaohs, Rafah was for most of its history a part of the Egyptian empire, located at or near its northern expanse. While not a particularly important city until recently, it did offer Egypt a strategic stronghold in the ancient battles with Anatolia and Levant.

With the reestablishment of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948, the city gained significant importance due to its location on the southern border of the Gaza Strip, a long, narrow territory claimed by the Palestinians as a sovereign state but controlled by many other powers at various times, including Britain and Israel.

The Gaza strip is bound on the West by the Mediterranean Sea, on the North and East by Israel, and its 11 km Southern border establishes the line between Gaza and Egypt.

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The city of Rafah, located at the literal corner where borders of Gaza, Egypt and Israel intersect, took on a greater political role as the only legitimate crossing point between Egypt and Gaza. It has also become home to a massive and long lasting Palestinian refugee camp hosting individuals and families disenfranchised by the conflicts between Israel and the neighboring states.

In 1982, the city was itself divided into two parts, the North belonging to the Gaza territory, and the Southern segment to Egypt. In order to insure security between the contested areas, Egypt and Israel raised the central segment of the city to form a buffer zone. Access between the two halves is strictly controlled by walls and fences, which has resulted in the disruption of commerce, trade and family life, not unlike what occurred in Berlin after World War II.

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The Gaza Crossing

The crossing point located within the city of Rafah has existed for decades, and control over access in and out of the Gaza strip has changed hands several times in that period. In 2005, Israel dismantled its control enters and turned over administration to the European Union Border Assistance Mission. Actual control was maintained on the Southern Side by Egypt.

Israel’s concern over the area stems from the possibility of hostile Palestinian organizations secretly amassing an army on its Western border which could be easily supplied by its access of several kilometers of shoreline on the Mediterranean Sea. This made control of individuals entering and leaving the area strategically critical.

 

Closings:

At various times and for various reasons, the crossing at Rafah has been closed, causing hardships for families and individuals trying to get in or out of Gaza. Much of the food, clothing and supplies used by people in Gaza are purchased across the border in Egypt. Border closings would result in critical shortages, particularly for the people of Southern Gaza.

Refugee Camp:

The Refugee camp which makes up part of the city of Rafah was established in 1949 with a population of between 50 and 100 thousand inhabitants, depending on the source and current political situation. In recent years, the actual population has been dwindling as many current residents have migrated to the nearby Tel al-Sultan camp, considered by some to be an extension of the Rafah facility.

Regardless of how the population is figured, the Rafah camp is generally considered to be the 2nd largest in Palestine.

In order to maintain proper security and to increase the integrity of the border zone, plans were initiated in 2015 by Egypt to eliminate the city of Rafah altogether. This has proven to be a controversialproposal, considered by many in Palestinian leadership to favor Israel, creating further tension between Egypt the rest of the Arab world.

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Rafah – A difficult history

Rafah has a long rich history dating back to the 1300’s.  In the 3000 years since there has been periods of intense fighting and destruction to the city at many different times throughout history.  There have also been times when the city was empty.  There is an inscription from the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I from 1303 BCE which shows the long history of this city.

The location of Rafah has made it an important point of trade and movement.  There have been many battles there.  The Egyptian ruler Ptolemy defeated the Syrian emperor Antiochus III in 217 BCE in Rafah.  The city was also more recently part of a battle in World War 1 from 1914-1918.  It was part of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War.  The allies led by Lieutenant General Philip Chetwode captured Rafa on January 9, 1917.  There was also an engagement between the Egyptian Army and the Israel Defense Forces at the end of the Arab-Israeli war in Rafah in 1949. This was part of the battle for gaza but because of Rafah’s proximity it was involved.

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Today there are still many incursions going on in Rafah.  Rafah is the Border crossing point between Gaza and Egypt.  It is on the border of Egypt and has been opened and closed many times throughout the years.  It is the main point for people entering and leaving Gaza.  The crossing was originally opened by Israel in 1982 when there was a peace agreement with Egypt agreeing it would be operated by the Israel Airport Authority.  The crossing was open until the Second Intifada in 2000.  After this point there were some restrictions  and the hours were reduced that it was hoped.  The number of people traveling between the crossing fell by half.   Since then the crossing has not been opened very often.  There are many people who desire to cross but due to security concerns Egypt does not open the crossing very often.  During 2014 there was an average of about 8000 people exiting and entering the crossing.  There was an operation called protective edge where only certain types of passengers were allowed to exit Gaza.  These were people who had urgent medical issues and/or were injured.  After October 2014 it was closed all together for a period of time.  In 2015 the crossing was open for exit from Gaza to Egypt on 25 days.  The amount of times the crossing is open is steadily decreasing.  In May of 2016 after 85 days of closure the border was open for 2 days.  It was opened again right before Ramadan and for 5 days before the Muslim Holiday of Eid al-Fitr.  There has also been many homes destroyed in Rafah.  After the discovery of tunnels from Gaza to Rafah the Egyptians were concerned about weapons being smuggled through the tunnels.  The tunnels were destroyed.  They destroyed homes in parts of Rafah in an effort to make a buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt.  Egypt has claimed that Hamas in Gaza is helping militants in Sinai with arms and treating casualties.

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Rafah is a difficult place to live with many conflicts brewing.  It is difficult for all the people involved.  There seems to be no real solution on the horizon.  As governments are more concerned about their security and tighten controls it affects the people who are living with the results of this tightening.  Making it harder for them to live their lives and enjoy freedom of movement and feel safe in their homes.  One can only hope that somehow there will be a time when all people will live in peace and feel safe where they live.

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Rafah’s Historical Archeology Finds

Rafah and Egypt have a long history dating back 3000 years ago.  Egypt was frequently having to fight military battles and had created many defensive positions and strategies.  They had created the Horus Military Route which spans 217 miles by the sea.  It covers from Tharu to Egypt’s Border city of Rafah.  In the area of Rafah a fort was discovered which hadn’t been excavated.  The announcement about this discovery came from Zahi Hawass who it the chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. There were supposed to 11 fortresses on the route from Tharu to Rafah on the Horus Military Route.  This is known from the inscriptions on the Temple of Karnak in Luxor.  This fortress is the fifth fortress found. At the fort they found a royal monument for King Thutmose II.  King Thutmose II ruled in Egypt from 1516 to 1504 B.C.

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There was also another discovery in the area of a New Kingdom Temple.  This Temple is the first to be discovered in Sinai and dates back form 1569 BC to 1315 BC. This gives a glimpse into Egyptian Military and strategy historically.  It shows how they set up their military throughout the years to help protect their Territory.  They used these fortresses to help protect their Eastern sea border. They would help protect the mainland by alerting them to any incoming army or thread.  They had water and supply stations for the fortresses and the ways of hours route.  This route was used both by military and commercial traffic it is believed and may have supported a commercial economy in the area it went through.

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The fort was 550 yards by 275 yard and was created of a mud brick. It had several towers standing 13 feet height.  The towers dated back from 1304 B.C. to 1237 B.C.   It is located 500 Kilometers from the Mediterranean sea. They have theorized that his fort was Egypt’s headquarters for the military from the New Kingdom Era (1569 B.C. To 1081 B.C.) Until the Ptolemaic era (330 B.C. To 30 B.C.).   This discovery was part of a project that had begun in 1986 along the Horus Military Route to try to find the fortresses.  There was also discoveries of warehouses along the route that the Ancient Egyptian Army used for supplies such as food and weapons.   They have also found silver coins and others treasures.  Some of the discoveries were found by people digging a tunnel under the hill that divide dies Gaza and Rafah.

 

Egyptian army troops, background, are seen running a military operation to demolish houses on the Egyptian side of the border town of Rafah, as Palestinian Hamas security forces, front, stand guard the Palestinian side of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. With dynamite and bulldozers, Egypt's army demolished homes along its border with the Gaza Strip on Thursday, after the military ordered residents out on Wednesday to make way for a planned buffer zone meant to stop militants and smugglers. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Egyptian army troops, background, are seen running a military operation to demolish houses on the Egyptian side of the border town of Rafah, as Palestinian Hamas security forces, front, stand guard the Palestinian side of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. With dynamite and bulldozers, Egypt’s army demolished homes along its border with the Gaza Strip on Thursday, after the military ordered residents out on Wednesday to make way for a planned buffer zone meant to stop militants and smugglers. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

 

 

Many of these archeological treasures are at risk due to the continued wars in the area and years of neglect.    There are many possible new discoveries in the area based on the long history of war and continued populations living in the Rafah area.  There are many layers of history in the Rafah area.  Each Era that inhabited leaves behind their buildings and monuments.  The next Era builds over it.  There is an amazing amount of history in Rafah and the area around it.  Due to the many conflicts in the area because of Gaza and the border crossing it makes it difficult to really search the area properly.  Many discoveries are discovered by accident and there isn’t proper archeological technique or tools to help properly preserve the finds.   This is a difficult situation as it is possible the some valuable archeological treasures will be lost if this situation continues.  One can only hope that a way is found to preserve the items that have been found and to not destroy the treasures yet to be found in the Rafah area.

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The Rafah Border Crossing in Egypt – A history of the openings and closings

The Rafah Border Crossing is a very important crossing point for people in Gaza.  This border was redrawn after the 1979 Israeli and Egyptian peace treaty was signed.   The treaty dictated a 100-meter wide buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza.  It also cut through the town of Rafah creating havoc for families.  It is the only point where individuals can enter and leave Gaza.  The Rafah border is used for people to go in and out of the area.  The border has been closed more than it has been open in recent years. This causes great strife for the people living in the area.  The reasons for the closures vary, but generally it is because of security concerns.  The Egyptian government has indicated that the Hamas Terrorists had provided weapons to individuals in the Sinai peninsula to cause terrorist attacks.  They smuggled these weapons through tunnels created from Gaza to Rafah.  This is one of the reasons that the border has been closed.  When the border crossing is open they usually give priority to people who are sick or in need of medical care and students.

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In September 2005 Israel withdrew from the Gaza area settlements and at that point it was up to the European Union Border Assistance Mission in Rafah to monitor the crossing.  At that point the border was controlled by Egypt on the Egyptian side and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian National Authority on the Gaza side.   In November 2005 the crossing was opened for the first time in its new location under the European union’s supervision.   Israel monitored the crossing through a video feed at the border crossing.

 

From 2005 to 2006 approximately 40,000 people crossed the border.  In June 2006 an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit was captured and this caused the border to be closed for three quarters of the year.   In 2006 there was a conflict between the Fatah and Hamas movements.  During Parliamentary elections in 2006 Hamas won power and the Hamas fighters took control of the Gaza Strip.   This led to an almost permanent closing of the Rafah Border crossing with Egypt.  There were infrequent openings.  In 2010 the average of monthly entries and exists across the border grew to 19,000.

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Mubarak’s government opposed the Hamas group controlling the Gaza government as it saw Hamas as a terrorist organization.  In 2011 there was an agreement reached between the Fatah government and the Hamas government.  This agreement was mediated in Egypt.  The border was to re-open on a permanent basis after the agreement.  This didn’t last very long as by mid 2011 the borders were again open only to a limited amount of people.  When the Mubarak government was replaced by Mohamed Morsi’s government the number grew for the crossing.  It averaged about 40,000 people a month crossing the border at Rafah.  In July 2013, after Morsi’s was removed from power the Rafah Border Crossing was again almost completely shut down.  In 2014 there was another mediated truce this time between Israel and Hamas.  The terms included a return of the presidential Guard from Egypt and the European Union supporting the supervision of the border crossing.  This was to open the borders again.  It succeeded for a short time.

More recently the Rafah border crossing has been closed more than open.  It was closed for 85 days straight but was opened in the end of May 2016 for the holy holiday of Ramadan.  It was opened again for 5 days before Eid al-Fitr to allow Palestinians to enter and leave for the holiday.

The crossing is a difficult situation for the people living in the area.  Hopefully one day it will be arranged to have the border permanently open for all people.

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Places to see in Rafah, Egypt and the surrounding area

There are many interesting and historical sites to see in the area of Rafah, Egypt.  The history of the city goes back to the Pharaonic period.  The city of Rafah itself is in a turbulent moment in time right now.  Much of the city has been and is being destroyed to create a larger buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt.  This is to prevent smuggling and other illegal activities that have been smuggled in tunnels from Gaza to Rafah.  Many civilians in the Rafah area are being forced to relocate due to the creation of the buffer zone.  Many are left searching for a new place to live without much if any warning.   Much of the cause of the buffer creation is also because of Jihadist and extremist activity in the area which had increased since mid 2013.  The question is if this kind of extreme measure will help the issue or actually make it worse. It is a shame that it is such a turbulent time for the residents of the area and for all those who would like to see the treasures nearby.  There are many interesting places to see in the Rafah area if things settle down and peace comes to the region.   Gaza city which is just North of the Egyptian Border is considered one of the ancient cities around the world.  Gaza City is located on the Mediterranean and was a regular stop on the Coastal route throughout the ages. I will discuss here some worthwhile places to go to in Rafah and the surrounding areas once there is a time of safe passage for tourists.

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  • Napoleon’s Fort

This Fort was named after Napoleon because he stayed there for three nights during the Siege of Acre in 1799.  The building was originally built as a mansion and it had many fortifications and a large height making it easier to see anyone coming and protect yourself in it.  The second floor was built as a fortress home for the ruling Radwan dynasty at the time.  There were underground tunnels to help defend it.  For these reasons, Napoleon had probably chosen to stay in this building.

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  • The Al-Daraj Quarter

This Area of the old City of Gaza has many beautiful features including a fountain that was renovated by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid in 1893. The fountains over a large underground reservoir where water used to flow through it.  It was made with a bronze Dome.  On all four sides of the fountain are inscriptions containing Qur’anic verses.  It also has one of the biggest most beautiful Mosques in Gaza – Sayyed Hashem Mosque.  It is created in Ottoman and Mamluk style architecture.  It is one of the oldest Mosques in Gaza.  This existing Mosque was built by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid in 1850.  The original Minaret was rebuilt in 1903.

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  • Rafah Beaches

Rafah is a beach town and has beautiful beaches along with archeological sites in the area.

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This area has beautiful beaches.  It recently uncovered an archeological find – a cemetery dating back to the Bronze Age.  Also discovered were tombs, pottery, bronze pots and a mosaic floor.   The city is known for its date palms, which is where its name comes from.  It served as a fortified outpost in the late Bronze Age for the New kIngdom of Egypt.   In the 4th century AD a monastery was built in Deir al-Balah by the Christian Monk Hilarion.

 

As you can see there is a lot of history in the Rafah and Gaza area that will be worth seeing when the time is right.