The situation at the Rafah crossing from the Gaza strip to Egypt is crazy beyond belief. Crazy things are happing. Sane things are not happening, basically because it is closed even though there are US citizens desperate to cross it to get out of the Gaza strip and a desperate need to get food and medicine and fuel for generators into the Gaza strip.

The Rafah crossing is closed partly because, although Israel can not order it closed, their desire for a siege of Gaza implies not refraining from bombing targets on the Gazan side such that it is not safe to cross “Another diplomat familiar with the talks over the aid deliveries said they would require “Israel to stop bombing the enclave for a few hours.”” As usual desperately needed action is delayed by negotiations – the Israelis insist that they inspect shipments to make sure they don’t include weapons.

The gridlock becomes bizarre when it keeps the USA from getting what it demands

U.S. officials said Saturday that they had negotiated a deal to allow American citizens to leave Gaza and cross into Egypt, during a five-hour window during the afternoon. But the Rafah border crossing remained closed throughout the window, after Palestinian and Egyptian officials failed to communicate about opening it, an official there said, and by day’s end, no one was allowed to cross.

There are an estimated 500 to 600 Palestinian Americans in Gaza. Some have complained in recent days that the Biden administration was paying little attention to their plight.

Wael Abu Omar, the Palestinian spokesman for the Rafah crossing, said Palestinian officials had not had any communication with their counterparts on the Egyptian side. Egyptian media outlets reported that Cairo was insisting that aid shipments be delivered to Gaza as a condition for allowing foreigners to cross the border.”

It is a special mess when a deal with the USA is not respected by a country which gets over a billion dollars in aid a year from the USA.

As usual, I am interested in the desire of Palestinians who are not Americans to get out of the Gaza strip (not just now when it is without drinkable water and about to be invaded but whenever it is horribly crowded, desperately poor, without enough water and without job opportunities). Here it is very clear that Palestinians will not be allowed to go where they wish to go partly because allowing them to do so would betray the cause of Palestine.

The explicit logic is that Palestinians leaving the Gaza strip is what Israeli hawks want and inconsistent with the demand that their next stop be their former homes (or rather now the former homes of their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents) in what is now Israel. This is explicitly stated both by the Hamas regime and the AL Sisi regime who don’t agree on much else.

Another link to a related story here .

update on water “Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said that Israel had restored water supply to part of Gaza after the outcry over the siege declared by Israel’s defense minister. “I have been in touch with my Israeli counterparts just within the last hour who report to me that they have, in fact, turned the water pipe back on in southern Gaza,””

update: “National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan” “also says that it was Hamas who was preventing people from leaving through the Rafah crossing to Egypt yesterday. “The question when we tried to move a group yesterday was actually Hamas taking steps to try and stop that from happening,” he says.” https://x.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1713545579966415044?s=20