Map of Pre-1948 Palestine: Southern Border of the Ottoman Empire
Lord Cromer, Britain's agent in Egypt, wanted to change the border between the Ottoman Empire and Egypt in order to push the Turks further away from the Suez Canal. In 1892, the Turks agreed to allow Egyptian guard stations near the Gulf of Eilat; in 1905, Lord Cromer tried to move the border. In April 1906, the Turks were given an ultimatum - to set the border between Aqaba and Rafah. They proposed a compromise (El Arish - Ras Muhamed) but finally gave in to British pressure. The firm stand of the commander of the Turkish police station at Um Rashrash (today, Eilat) changed the starting point of the border from Aqaba to Taba, which became the international border between Israel and Egypt.
Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs © Koret Communications Ltd. Reprinted with permission.