For the past fourteen months, Colonel Faugeras has done literally zilch related to his mission, as Rafah is still not operational according to the EU agreement and has been closed since June, 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza and kicked out the PA, which was the only entity that coudl work jointly with the EU at the crossing. (EU-BAM wrote to me a couple of years ago that while the mission was still waiting to redeploy, they were training Palestinian Arab police. I wonder if the PA officer who killed an Israeli a couple of weeks ago was trained by them.)
EU High Representative for the CFSP,
congratulates Alain FAUGERAS on taking office as
Head of Mission of EUBAM Rafah
Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), congratulated Colonel Alain FAUGERAS who today is taking office as the new Head of the EUBAM Rafah Mission. He succeeds General Pietro PISTOLESE. Javier SOLANA made the following comments:
"Colonel Faugeras' extensive police background acquired in the French Gendarmerie and his international experience makes him most suitable for the new position he takes up today. Colonel Alain Faugeras can count on my full support and that of the European Union as a whole in the fulfilment of his new responsibilities.
I also would like to warmly thank General Pietro Pistolese for his dedication and the excellent work he carried out as the head of EUBAM Rafah since it was launched in November 2005. The mission has been instrumental in allowing thousands of people to cross the border at Rafah.
Since the closure of the crossing point, the mission has maintained its operational capability and the European Union is prepared to redeploy its personnel at the border as soon as conditions permit.
However, the Colonel might end up working after all. Hamas, in the face of the Egyptian wall that is threatening to strangle their ability to bring in cash and weapons, is negotiating with the PA to figure out a way to re-open Rafah according to the original agreements between Israel, the PA and the EU.