Egyptian intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, discussed with his Israeli counterpart, Amos Gil’ad, in Cairo earlier this week the reopening of Rafah crossing terminal in southern Gaza, according to the London-based Alhayat Arabic newspaper. The newspaper reported that the crossing’s operation protocol, signed in 2005′ under U.S mediation, was among the most important issues discussed by both officials, given the great deal of embarrassment Cairo has been facing due to the closure of the terminal.
Suleiman urged his Israeli counterpart that Israel needs to loosen position regarding the issue by allowing the reopening of the crossing, whose closure has created a lot of trouble to Egypt, given its proximity to the Gaza Strip.
Also, Suleiman voiced his country’s concern over recent Israel threats against the coastal territory, particularly, targeting leaders of the ruling Hamas in Gaza and large-scale invasions into the area, the paper revealed.
The Egyptian chief told his guest that such attacks will possibly cause large civilian deaths, a consequence, Cairo can not understand because of its moral obligation towards the Gaza Strip.
In January23, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians flooded from Gaza onto nearby Egypt to bring in essential supplies as the Israeli closure of Gaza reached climax, with many essential items like medicines, food , fuel or cement have been made scarce.
Following sealing of borders by Egyptian authorities 12 days later, the ruling Hamas movement discussed with Egyptians reopening of the Rafah terminal crossing, provided that European observers, installed by the 2005’s agreement, should not return.
Cairo says the crossing should be reopened in accordance with that agreement, as the Palestinian caretaker government in Ramallah expressed readiness to take control of all Gaza’s crossings, a proposal Israel has so far turned down as Hamas holds sway in Gaza.
In June of last year, Israel imposed a strict closure on the Gaza Strip, after the democratically-elected Isalmist Hamas took over the coastal region, amidst a power struggle with Fatah party of President Abbas.