Israeli foreign minister, Tsibi Livni, refused Thursday handover of Gaza’s crossings to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in presence of the ruling Hamas.
Livni, who yesterday took 60 world countries’ ambassadors in a tour across the southern Israeli town of Sderot on northern Gaza-Israel border line, said that Israel still refuses a proposal, to take control over Gaza’s crossings, produced earlier by President Abbas’s Ramallah-based government.

‘ the only response to this proposal is No, for those in effective control of Gaza are the Hamas movement, therefore, such a proposal is not accepted’, Livni was quoted as saying.

Livni believed that return of the Palestinian presidential guards to crossings is conditioned with Hamas’s approval and consent.

Palestinian minister of prisoners affairs, Ashraf Ajrami, considered the Livni’s position as one more obstacle to underway Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

He also believed it is a ‘negative stance’ towards Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Since taking control of Gaza in June2007 and the subsequent Israeli closure of Gaza, Hamas has been accusing Abbas of contributing to the ongoing Israeli siege of the coastal territory.

The Palestinian caretaker government in the West Bank, proposed few months ago taking control of Gaza’s borders to alleviate the suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents amidst Israeli closure.

Last month, the Hamas-led government in Gaza agreed to Abbas taking control over the Rafah crossing terminal, in coordination with its own forces and without intervention of European observers.

Cairo insisted that the terminal be reopened within the 2005’s U.S-brokered arrangements, with Abbas’s forces in control and European observers monitoring.

Last June, Israel placed Gaza under strict closure after Hamas took over the coastal region, amidst a power struggle with Fatah party of President Abbas, who embraces a peace strategy.
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