19.12.2011 EUBAM Rafah mission extended until 30 June 2012

On 19 December 2011, the Council of the EU has adopted a decision extending the European Union Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah Crossing Point between Egypt and Gaza, until 30 June 2012, on the basis of its current mandate. The EU has consistently insisted on the need for a full implementation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. As third party mission, EUBAM Rafah is still present in order to maintain an operational capability in the region and because it is invited by the parties of the 2005 Agreements (Israel and the Palestinian Authority).
The EUBAM Rafah mission was launched in 2005, after Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip, to provide a third-party presence at the Rafah Crossing Point in order to contribute to the opening of the crossing point and to build confidence between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in cooperation with the European Union's institution-building efforts. Despite the closure of the Rafah Crossing Point following the Hamas take-over of the Gaza Strip in 2007. EUBAM has maintained full operational capability, ready to redeploy at short notice, should circumstances allow.