PA official blasts token presence at Egypt-Gaza border crossing


Hamas accuses the Palestinian Authority of inciting Egypt to keep the Rafah crossing closed to undermine its authority over the coastal territory.





The Palestinian Authority does not want to return to the Rafah border crossing as part of a partial solution to the crisis at the crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee, announced Saturday.

Egyptian Army soldiers guard gates of Sinai Gaza closed border crossing, May 20, 2012.

Rajoub’s announcement came as the Egyptian authorities reopened the border.

“The Palestinian leadership rejects partial appearances, such as the presence of the Presidential Guard at the sovereign border crossings, including Rafah,” Rajoub said.

He added that any solution to the crisis at the border crossings with the Gaza Strip should be part of a comprehensive deal.

Hamas officials have accused the PA leadership in the West Bank of inciting the Egyptian authorities to keep the Rafah terminal closed in order to undermine their control over the Gaza Strip.

Despite Hamas’s public opposition to the return of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s forces to the terminal, some of its leaders have not ruled out joint control over the border crossing.

“The time has come for Hamas to review its policies and place Palestinian national reconciliation and unity  above other considerations,” Rajoub, a former security commander, said.

“Reconciliation and unity are the way to achieve a Palestinian state. “Fatah will continue to work toward achieving unity of the people, homeland, cause and leadership, represented by the PLO.”

The Hamas government, meanwhile, said that the Egyptian authorities allowed a few dozen Palestinians to cross the Rafah terminal in both directions.

Ehab Ghissin, spokesman for the Hamas government, said that the Egyptians prevented some Palestinians from leaving the Gaza Strip to perform the haj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Maher Abu Sabha, director of the border crossings in the Gaza Strip, said that the 130 Palestinians were permitted to leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal, while another 180 were allowed to enter.

The Egyptians said that the border crossing would be open for three days.


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