Rafah Crossing Point Credits: Eyad Al Baba

Hamas angered over PA demand of full security on Rafah crossing

PNN/ Bethlehem/

As Part of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement the Palestinian Authority assumed control of the border crossings in Gaza Strip. However, disputes started between Hamas and Fatah over control of the Strip.

Palestinian Authority demanded full control of Gaza security to allow border crossing with Egypt to return to full functionally. PA said that it cannot guarantee the crossings’ orderly operation without assuming full security control over Gaza  angered Hamas.

Hamdallah’s said that any delay in the opening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is unacceptable and would severely harm people in Gaza. This angered Hamas.  Rafah crossing was run only by Hamas and is now partially operational since the PA took control of the Strip.

Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman, Iyad al-Bazam, said Hamdallah’s declarations were surprising, since Hamas had given the PA complete responsibility for all of the crossings and his people had abandoned their positions.

“As part of the preparations for implementing the reconciliation agreement, we suggested that the security services in Gaza would be responsible for ongoing security until the subject is regulated. But senior PA officials who came to Gaza refused and asked all Hamas members, including security personnel, to leave the crossings,” said Bazam.

He added that, according to the agreement between Hamas and Fatah, a PA security delegation was supposed to meet its counterpart from Hamas in the Strip in order to arrange ongoing security, but it has yet to arrive.

According to Media sources, People in Gaza speculated Tuesday on whether the PA was referring to control not only of the crossings but to the entire issue of security in the Strip, which has also yet to be arranged. Policemen employed by Hamas are still operating in the area.

Another issue under dispute is the model for operating the Rafah crossing, which the PA supports and would see European observers placed at the crossing, which was the practice until 2007, when Hamas assumed control of the Strip.