Hamas: arrangements underway with Egypt to open Rafah crossing

By Xinhua,

Gaza : Arrangements between Hamas and Egypt are underway to open a travelers’ crossing point into Gaza for three days every week, the Islamic Hamas movement said on Monday.

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Contacts between “Gaza and the Egyptian side are persistent in order to reach a deal allowing the opening of Rafah crossing for three days a week,” said Ihab al-Ghussein, a spokesman for Hamas-controlled interior ministry in Gaza.

He, however, added that the arrangements “did not reach the phase of full implementation” because Egypt and the deposed Hamas government, which administrates Gaza, still discuss some points.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry of Hamas called on the Palestinians who plan to travel to register their names and the reasons of leaving at the General Administration of Borders and Crossing Points, which was part of the arrangements and aim at preventing congestion at Rafah crossing if it was reopened.

In June last year, the only travelers’ crossing at Rafah was closed when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip by force and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ forces withdrew alongside European Union monitors.

Egypt maintained the closure of the crossing which, according to a U.S.-brokered agreement, can not be open without the presence of the EU monitors and the Palestinian Presidential Guard forces.

In some occasions, Egypt opened the crossing for patients and some Hamas leaders who leave for talks in Cairo.