Dr. Sa’eb Ereikat, head of the negotiations department at the Palestinian Authority said the Palestinians will not accept any agreement that would turn the Gaza Strip into a big jail, and will not accept moving Rafah border crossing, Palestine News Network (PNN) reported Monday.
Ereikat’s comments come shortly before a meeting that will join the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and some Palestinian officials with the head of the Egyptian intelligence, Omar Suleiman and the European Union foreign policy officer, Xavier Solana in Gaza.
The meeting will basically discuss the PA’s preparations to take over security responsibility over the Gaza Strip, after the end of the Israeli pullout.
‘Several issues will be discussed in the meeting with Solana and Suleiman, most importantly the post-disengagement era,’ said Ereikat.
‘We must set the criteria for the coming situation in the Gaza Strip, and we do not intend to turn the strip into a big prison.Ã‚Â We want to bring things back in Gaza to the way it used to be prior to September 28, 2000, [The beginning of the second Intifada], to ensure holding fair and honest parliamentary elections,’ Ereikat added.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree setting the elections date to January 21, 2006.
Ereikat also remarked that the border crossing is a Palestinian-Egyptian border, adding that the Palestinian Authority welcomes a third party, but only if the third party is European.
He rejected moving the border crossing to a new location asserting that there should be no Israeli involvement in controlling a Palestinian-Egyptian border point.
‘Moving the border crossing is completely rejected, what is needed is to end the Israeli control over this crossing point,’ said Eriekat.
The Palestinian authority is facing a big challenge in maintaining law and order in the Gaza Strip, and several Palestinian official voiced concerns that Israel will withdraw from inside the strip and keep control of its exits and entrances.