Hamas government blames Israel for Rafah crossing incidents

July 3, 2008 8:07 PM IMEMC & Agencies Gaza Strip, News Report, Truce 0

The Hamas-dominated government in Gaza blamed Israel yesterday for the outbreak of violence at the Rafah crossing terminal in southern Gaza on Wednesday midday.
In a statement, faxed to press, the government’s spokesman, Taher aL-Nunu, said that the Israeli procrastination to lift the blockade of Gaza in accordance with the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire deal, has helped the eruption of Rafah crossing incidents.

Al-Nunu maintained that his government has made contacts with Egyptian officials to restore calm and ensure reopening of the Rafah crossing terminal in agreement with all parties concerned.

Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmad Abu Elgheit, described the Wednesday’s incidents as a ‘ ridiculous attempt’ to breach the border lines with Egypt.

Abu Elghiet said that if this breaks out once again , it will have grave consequences , asserting that his country will never allow the recurrence of such an episode.

Yesterday midday, thousands of stranded Palestinian travelers, including some hundred patients, flooded into the Rafah crossing terminal, after Egypt allowed a one-day opening to let in patients with urgent need for medication to Cairo.

Egyptian security guards pumped water into the crowds as hundreds of Palestinian youth penetrated the border fence and arrived at the Egyptian side of the terminal. Immediately after the breach, Egypt closed the terminal.

Media sources reported on Thursday that the Egyptian authorities reopened the terminal today for those Palestinians stranded in Egypt for the past several months.

Two weeks ago, Israel and the ruling Hamas party agreed through Egyptian mediators to a ceasefire deal, which stipulates lifting the one-year-long Israeli closure of Gaza gradually, in return for stopping homemade shells fire from Gaza onto nearby Israeli towns.

Regarding the Rafah crossing terminal, Egypt wants the Rafah crossing terminal to be reopened according to the terms of 2005’s operation agreement, brokered by Washington, following the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in September of that year.

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