The Islamic Jihad group in Gaza hailed on Wednesday the Fatah-Hamas dialogue in Cairo on running the Rafah crossing terminal, hoping it will lead to reconciliation between the two rival parties.
Khaled aL-Batch, a senior Jihad Gaza-based leader, said in a statement, faxed to press, that success of such a dialogue is a ‘national imperative’, in a way that would lead to lifting the siege being imposed on the Palestinian people and setting forth new arrangements for running the Gaza’s crossings.
aL-Batch maintained that his movement has been exerting relentless efforts to bridge the gab between Hamas and Fatah and open a new fresh ground of bilateral relations, based on bolstering the internal Palestinian front in a bid to achieve freedom and sovereignty

His remarks come as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and representatives of Hamas in Gaza, left for Cairo today in order to discuss possibility of jointly running the Rafah crossing terminal in southern Gaza.

The Rafah terminal was closed in June2007, when the Islamist Hamas took over the coastal territory on the heels of a power struggle with Fatah party of president Mahmoud Abbas.

Hundreds of thousands of Gaza residents flooded last week into Egypt for essential supplies, after masked gunmen knocked down the fence-off iron wall that Israel erected before it disengaged from Gaza in 2005.

Following Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Washington brokered an agreement, according to which some 70 European observers monitored movement on the terminal.

Currently, Hamas wants that the crossing be run by Egyptians and Palestinians exclusively, rejecting return of the European observers.

Since June of last year, Israel has been imposing a strict closure on Gaza’s 1.5 million residents, allowing limited amounts of foods, medicines and other essential items.

Last October, Israel began a series of ‘apparently punitive measures’ against Gaza, including fuel supplies cut, forcing the Gaza’s power plant to totally shut down in January17, due to lack of fuel, needed to generate electricity.