Saturday, February 2, 2008
"GAZA, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement has charged that the European Union's foreign relations official Javier Solana and the Quartet committee's envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair were leading a conspiracy to retain the Rafah crossing closed.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, told Quds Press on Friday that the visit by both officials to the region at this particular time meant they were trying to maintain the siege on the Gaza Strip through blocking any new arrangement for opening the Rafah crossing.
They would provide international cover for PA chief Mahmoud Abbas's demand for re-implementation of the Rafah agreement that would enable Israel to control the traffic in and out of the terminal, Abu Zuhri charged.
He said that Hamas refused any foreign intervention in the Rafah issue, and questioned the EU and Quartet's role towards the other crossings controlled by the IOA. "Why not pressure (Israeli) occupation to re-open the other crossings," he argued.
Solana and Blair are expected in the Middle East region within the few coming days to "assist" in finding a solution to the Gaza crossings, according to an official EU declaration.
Meanwhile, Egypt allowed the travel of around 2,000 Palestinians, who were stuck in Arish, after Hamas mediated in the issue. Palestinian sources told PIC correspondent on Saturday that the Movement's efforts succeeded in ending the suffering of those trapped passengers and the Egyptian authorities stamped their passports thus enabling them to travel.
The stranded Palestinians, mostly students, employees in Arab countries or patients seeking treatment, were staging a sit-in before the Egyptian interior ministry building in Arish over the past few days asking for their departure to join their universities, jobs and hospitals."