Hamas representatives to Cairo for talks over Rafah crossing

July 7, 2008 6:27 PM IMEMC & Agencies Gaza Strip, News Report, Truce 0

Hamas party representatives from Gaza and abroad will head for Cairo tomorrow for talks over the reopening of Rafah crossing terminal , Alhayat Arabic London-based newspaper quoted Hamas’s deputy-political bureau chief, Mousa Abu Marzouq as saying.
Abu Marzouq told the newspaper that his party’s delegation will be discussing with Egyptian mediators the continued closure of the crossing as well as the Israeli ‘procrastination’ to reopen Gaza’s crossing, as stated in the last ceasefire deal with Israel.

He added also that discussions would include the dialogue between Fatah and Hamas, making clear that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s underway visit to Damascus can be an approach to restarting such a dialogue.

Abu Marzouq, who is based in Syria, believed that the dialogue is a national interest for the Palestinian people and that President Abbas should push forward such a move for the best of the upcoming presidential elections.

He explained that his party has not been begging for such a dialogue and that all options remain open for Hamas,’which respects, first and foremost, the Palestinian people’s will’.

The talks over the Rafah crossing has been a major concern for the ruling Hamas party after the Egyptian authorities responded strongly-worded to recent riots at the terminal when hundreds of stranded Palestinian travelers and patients wanted to enter the Egyptian side of the terminal.

Hamas wants Egypt to reopen the terminal unilaterally, while Cairo insists that reopening the crossing needs an agreement by all parties concerned including the Palestinian presidency and the European observers.

Since June of last year, Gaza’s crossings, including the Rafah terminal, have been closed following Hamas’s takeover of the coastal territory.

Prior to June 2007’s takeover, the Rafah terminal used to be run by Palestinian presidency personnel and European observers, in accordance with the Washington-brokered 2005’s operation agreement.

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IMEMC & Agencies

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