Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hamas wants pilgrims pass through Rafah, says temporary camps unacceptable

"GAZA, (PIC)-- Hamas Movement on Sunday urged the Egyptian authorities to allow 2,400 Palestinian pilgrims cross into Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal, asserting that sheltering those pilgrims in temporary camps would aggravate their suffering further.

The Movement also condemned what it described as "negative stands" of the illegitimate PA government under Salam Fayadh and the PA leadership on the pilgrims' crisis, calling on the Egyptian government not to be blackmailed by Israel and the USA on this issue.

"All parties, including human rights and legal organization must understand the urgent need of those pilgrims to return to their relatives safely as US and Israeli pressures on Egypt to find political and security solutions to this humanitarian issue is categorically rejected by Hamas", affirmed Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman of Hamas Movement in Gaza Strip, in a statement he issued and a copy of which was obtained by the PIC.

Barhoum also highlighted the relentless efforts exerted by the legitimate PA government under Premier Ismael Haneyya with the aim to ensure the safe return of those pilgrims to their country in honor and dignity.

He also warned that any further delay in allowing those pilgrims to go home would expose their lives to serious danger, explaining that "majority of them (pilgrims) are elderly people and women with many of them suffering of chronic diseases".

Similar remarks were uttered by Khaled Abdul Majeed, the secretary general of the Jabhat Al-Nedal Al-Shaabi (Popular struggle front) which is one of the PLO factions.

Describing the pilgrims' crises as "Big humanitarian tragedy", Majeed affirmed that the PA leadership in Ramallah city, the Israeli occupation government, and Egypt are to be blamed for the suffering of those pious pilgrims.

According to Majeed, stranding those pilgrims for this long time constitutes big insult to the Arab world, and to the Egypt's popular role in the region, urging Egypt not to be extorted by the Israeli dictates.

Majeed also appreciated the efforts exerted by the leadership of Hamas Movement, in occupied Palestine and abroad, with the Egyptian authorities and other Arab parties to solve the pilgrims' dilemma.

Disgraceful stands:

In the same context, Majeed deprecated the "unpatriotic stands" of the illegitimate PA premier Salam Fayyadh who lamented the death of two Israeli soldiers at the hands of Palestinian resistance fighters in Al-Khalil city on Friday, describing such stands of Fayadh as "dangerous to the Palestinian issue".

"We wished he (Fayadh) expressed such sorrow over innocent Palestinian citizens who are being murdered at the hands of the IOF soldiers [in Gaza Strip and the West Bank] on daily basis," said Majeed.

He also warned that the Fayyadh government would face serious problems with the Palestinian resistance as a result of those "unwarranted" stands, citing the threats uttered by the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to target and chase Fayyadh's government.

Another PLO faction, the PFLP-GC, under the command of Ahmad Jibril condemned the "unexplained" denial of the Gaza pilgrims to go home, describing such denial as "flagrant violation of human and religious values and ethics".

"What indeed makes matters more tragic and disgusting is to know that it was the PA leadership that incites against those pilgrims and demands not to allow them enter into Gaza through the Rafah terminal", Anwar Raja, the information officer in the Front asserted.

One of the stranded pilgrims identified as Shafika Al-Buhaisi had died a couple of days ago. "

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