45. Encourage Egypt to Permanently Open the Rafah Crossing and Raise International Support for Its Upgrade

While Egypt temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing during the recent Ramadan month, it is generally open for only intermittent short windows. Rafah is Gaza’s most important outlet, since it allows Palestinians access to Egypt, which is a much larger potential source of travel and commerce for Gazan residents than Israel. While Egypt has legitimate and understandable concerns about providing access to and from Gaza for Hamas and Sinai-based jihadi fighters, Egyptian security can man the Rafah checkpoint and enforce Egyptian security demands. Further, upgrading Rafah’s infrastructure for improved access of both people and goods can alleviate Gaza’s movement and access issue, and boost economic activity in the Strip and in Egypt. The international community should create a fund to upgrade the crossing and remove import and export barriers while addressing Israeli security needs, through enhanced technological capabilities and Egyptian and international security, in similar to the GRM principles.