Welcome To EUBAM's Website


Introduction

The European Union Border Assistance Mission in Rafah – code name EUBAM Rafah – was launched within the framework of the European Union Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) on 24 November 2005. Its role is to monitor the operations of the border crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, after the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority concluded an Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) on 15 November 2005. The Council of the European Union welcomed the Agreement and approved that the EU should undertake the third-party role proposed.

The operational phase of the Mission began on 30 November 2005. The Rafah Crossing Point (RCP) was last opened with the presence of EUBAM monitors on 9 June 2007. Between these two dates, a total of nearly 450 000 passengers used the crossing.

On 13 June 2007, due to the hamas takeover in the Gaza Strip, the Head of Mission declared a temporary suspension of EUBAM's operations at the Rafah Crossing Point. Since then, the Mission has maintained its operational capability and has remained on standby, awaiting a political solution and ready to re-engage.

On 17 November 2009, the Council confirmed the EU's readiness to redeploy at short notice at RCP, should circumstances allow. Despite the suspension of operations, the Mission is maintaining its operational capability.

The regular opening of the Rafah Crossing Point is a vital issue for any future agreements concerning the Gaza Strip. Under the 2005 Agreement, the EU third-party presence takes into account Israel's security concerns and ensures the freedom of movement of the 1,5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

 

Welcome by the Head of Mission of EUBAM Rafah - Colonel Alain Faugeras

Colonel of the French Gendarmerie, I have been appointed as EUBAM Rafah Head of Mission in November 2008.

Since I took the command of EUBAM Rafah, the Mission has been continuously supported by EU member states to remain in theater, ready to deploy at  short notice. Together with my team, I constantly worked in maintaining the Mission's operational capability and as soon as the political situation allows, EUBAM will be able to fulfill its third-party role at the Rafah Crossing Point. Full deployment could take place in three weeks. In the meantime, the Mission constantly maintains operational contacts with the Parties involved in the 2005 Agreement and shares its expertise of the customs and borders management with relevant international actors in the region.

EUBAM Rafah participation to the regular opening of the Rafah Crossing Point made a significant difference to the lives of thousands of people in the Gaza Strip. Based on these achievements, I would like to look at the future. The Mission expresses the commitment of the European Union to the peace process in general and to the Agreement on Movement and Access in particular:  my aim is to ensure that EUBAM Rafah remains fully prepared and stands ready to support the Parties in any way it can.

 

  

Colonel Alain Faugeras