Israeli defense officials reported, on Wednesday evening, that Israel proposed to create a dual crossing between Gaza and Egypt which is said to allow free exit from Gaza, but Israeli control over goods entering it.
The Rafah border crossing is the only gateway Gaza has with the outside world without passing through Israel which intends to maintain its control over the Mediterranean seacoast and its airspace.
Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, approved the plan which will make the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt as one-way exit for both people and goods without Israeli supervision.
Also, Israel intends to open a new crossing near Keren Shalom, which is an Israeli farming village located at the point where Egyptian, Israel and Gaza borders come together for incoming people and goods.
Israel intends to maintain its direct supervision over good entering Gaza in accordance to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“customs envelopeÃ¢â‚¬Â agreed upon in interim peace deals in the mid 1990s, a senior Israeli source reported.
Mazen Sonnoqrot, Palestinian Economic Minister, rejected the Israeli proposal saying that the Palestinians want to keep the Rafah border crossing for both people and goods, and added that the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Israeli control of goods and people entering and exiting Gaza diminishes the Palestinian sovereigntyÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Sonnoqrot added that the Palestinians have suggested the presence of international supervisors to protect the Israeli interests over the imported material.
Israel previously rejected the idea of international supervisors at the Rafah crossing to supervise the entry of people and goods; the Israeli rejection came during negotiations that involved P.A officials, and international mediator James Wolfensohn.
A source at Wolfensohn’s office reported on Wednesday that the idea of a dual crossing is a new one and was not brought up in negotiations until now.