The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in a statement on Tuesday expressed concern over the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to pull its employees from Rafah Crossing, threatening the interests of the Gaza Strip population and violates their right to freedom of movement, which is legally guaranteed.
PCHR said it is also concerned that this procedure is part of the sanctions imposed by the PA on the Gaza Strip since March 2017 and an introduction to disclaiming their responsibility and legal obligations towards the Gaza Strip’s civilians.
The Palestinian General Authority for Civil Affairs (GACA) has announced pulling all its employees working in Rafah Crossing starting from Monday morning, 07 January 2019. The GACA said in a statement: “The decision of pulling out employees from the Rafah crossing was taken in light of Hamas insistence to deepen the division, summonses, arrests, abuses against the employees, and obstruct their work.
Following the decision, the Egyptian authorities announced the opening of the Rafah crossing on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 for individuals only to return to the Gaza Strip.
It should be noted that the PA decision came in light of the tension and media interchange between Fatah and Hamas Movement on grounds of banning the commemoration of the 54th anniversary of the founding of Fatah Movement, which was scheduled to be organized in the Gaza Strip on Monday, 07 January 2019. The PA decision was also taken after the Internal Security Service in the Gaza Strip launched a campaign of summonses and arrests against dozens of leaders and activists of the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip.
PCHR is concerned over the serious repercussions that the Palestinian Authority’s decision will have on the Gaza Strip people, especially on patients whose treatment is not available in the Gaza Strip, university students outside the Gaza Strip, holders of residencies in countries abroad, and others, PCHR called upon:
1- The PA to refrain from the decision of pulling out employees from Rafah Crossing and quickly returning them as soon as possible to ensure that the suffering of the residents of the Gaza Strip is alleviated, considering that the Rafah crossing is the only outlet for the residents of the Gaza Strip.
2- The PA and Hamas Movement to keep the Gaza Strip’s residents away from the internal political bickering and conflict; and
3- The Egyptian Authorities and Hamas Movement to put pressure on the two parties to division to ensure the re-opening of Rafah Crossing and access to an appropriate mechanism to ensure normal opening of the crossing before the movement of Palestinian civilians from and into the Gaza Strip.