Senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud aL-Zahar, said on Saturday that his movement reiterates its determination that the Rafah crossing terminal will remain ‘Palestinian-Egyptian with no intervention from a third party.
Al-Zahar, who returned back to Gaza today from Cairo along with a Hamas delegation, was quoted as saying ‘ we have been pledged that Cairo would resolve the problem and the Rafah crossing would be reopened’.
Regarding Gazans who have been stranded in the nearby aL-Arish town, aL-Zahar confirmed that the standoff will be resolved soon and that such stranded travelers will finally head for their destinations inside Egypt.
He pointed out that hundreds of patients will be able soon to leave for Cairo for treatment, after their names would have been scheduled.
Noting on the last week’s Hamas-Fatah dialogue in Cairo, aL-Zahar made clear that Egypt demanded that such a dialogue be reinitiated without pre-conditions.
The Hamas leader stressed that the Hamas delegation apologized to Cairo for the borders breach in the Rafah town, on Gaza-Egypt border line, saying his movement will work with the Eygptian troops to reusme control over the borders
In the meantime, the Hamas movement organized on Saturday a ‘women demonstration’ on the Gaza-Egypt border line in southern Gaza to condemn the Israeli closure of the coastal territory and to reject the 2005’s Rafah crossing agreement.
The Israeli supreme court of Justice ruled last Wednesday that the Israeli government’s actions against Gaza, mainly cutting power and fuel supplies, remain in place because the court stated that such actions are meant to stop homemade shells fire onto Israel and make in Hamas’s policy.
Last week, Fatah-Hamas delegations headed for Cairo in a bid to forge an agreement over responsibility for the Rafah crossing terminal, said to be the sole outlet to abroad for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents.
Hamas wants the Rafah crossing reopened without the return of European observers, who were installed in 2005 within a U.S-brokered agreement, following the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in September2005.
Fatah party, which was routed by Hamas in June of last year, agrees to the return of the European monitors to the crossing, arguing that the agreement was internationally signed.
EU’s foreign policy chief, Javeir Solana, is expected to arrive in the region this week in order to resolve the issue. The EU expressed earlier willingness to return to their work place, upon some security guarantees.
‘ It is unfair to differentiate between human beings, while tens of Palestinians used to be interrogated, arrested and even humiliated by the Israeli security personnel in the presence of the European observers’, Hamas’s spokesman in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, told IMEMC.
Barhoum said ‘we utterly reject return of such observers and the crossing should be a sovereign Palestinian area’.
Since the agreement on movement and access (AMA) has been reached, the EU monitors used to control movement, using surveillance cameras, connected directly to Israeli security offices, about 15 kilometers away from the Gaza-Egypt border line.
Two weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of Gazans flooded to the nearby Egyptian town of Al-Arish, to buy essential supplies, amidst a crippling Israeli closure of Gaza, since last June, when the ruling Islamist Hamas movement took over the coastal region.