Hamad: Alternatives to Rafah Crossing Not Accepted
Gaza, Alray - Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ghazi Hamad has held a press conference on Wednesday to warn of
the real humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip due to the closure of the Rafah crossing until further notice.
He said the government has been in continuous contact with Egypt's General Intelligence since the outset of the crisis
following the June 30 events.
"We reaffirmed our position that the Palestinian people should not pay for what happens in Egypt and their right of free
movement should be maintained as an internationally recognized right even during wartimes," Hamad added.
He noted that "the government understands that the crossing may be closed for two hours or two days for a particular
event, but permanent closing of the crossing as in the past further the suffering of the Palestinian people,"
"No one from Gaza has been proved involved in Egypt's unrest; no breaches on the border with Egypt have been detected by
the security men spread along over there, "
"The Palestinian government has managed the crossing for 7 years without marking any violation; pointing to the Gaza
Strip with unfounded accusations is unacceptable,"
"The number of citizens stranded in Gaza is rising; after dispersing Rabia Al Adawiya sit-in in Cairo, only 50 Gaza
citizens were being allowed to the Egyptian side in every 4-hour daily opening," he added.
"Palestinians stranded in countries like Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan, and others have contacted us to facilitate their
return to Gaza; while many those stranded in Gaza failed to catch up with their studying; others lost their jobs; they
can be seen not only at the Rafah crossing point waiting for an opening, but also lining up before Public Administration
Hamad refused to replace Rafah crossing with the Israel-run Beit Hanon (Erez) crossing to serve passengers "it should
not be an alternative to Rafah crossing, as the Israeli side restricts the vast majority of the Gaza citizens from
getting through; only a few people could travel through it like foreign passport holders and the humanitarian cases of
Commenting on Abbas' demand for the reintroduction of 2005 border agreement, he said "it has good and bad points; one
significant bad one is that it shall establish the presence of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories, as
(Israel) used to restrict the entry of the Palestinians it considers suspects, "
"We welcome any proposals introduced by the Ramallah authority to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians once in
need to go abroad; we need not Rafah crossing to be a symbol of imprisonment and suffering." He said.