Israel Requests Palestinian Authority Assist at Rafah Border Crossing

Israel requested that the Palestinian Authority take over operations at Gaza’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt, Axios reported May 13. Since the Israel-Hamas war started, Israel has publicly ruled out the Palestinian Authority playing any role in Gaza’s postwar governance. The latest news suggests this is changing.

Israel did request that PA personnel arrive incognito and man the crossing anonymously as “a local aid committee.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly livid by the request and rejected the offer if the personnel had to operate undercover.

As Israel’s war in Gaza winds down, so does the time Israel has to answer the question: What happens to Gaza the day after? Israel has made it clear it doesn’t want to govern long term and has hinted it wants Palestinians unaffiliated with Hamas to govern on the ground.

Whether the PA plays any role in this remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: Even if the war is almost over, Israel’s problem on what to do with Gaza isn’t. We can expect the Palestinian crisis to keep heating up until Israel feels compelled to look for outside help.