PA rejects Hamas’ full control over Rafah crossing
Palestinian ambassador to Egypt Gamal al-Shobaky speaks to media at Giza-based embassy headquarters Thursday on Oct. 29, 2015- THE CAIRO POST

CAIRO: The Palestinian Authority (PA) has not received any indications that the Hamas movement could abandon its control over border crossing between Egypt and Palestine, said Palestinian Ambassador to Cairo Gamal al-Shobaky in a meeting with journalists Thursday.

The authority refuses the presence of any Hamas’ representative at the crossing, to facilitate the traffic for Palestinian passengers stranded at both directions, he told The Cairo Post on the sidelines of the meeting.

Media reports have said that Hamas is considering to deliver the PA the border management amid Egyptian pressure on the Movement; President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has said that Egypt will re-open the crossing from its direction in case that Hamas ceded its management to the Palestine Authority, Shobkay added.

“PA sent a delegation to Hamas to talk the crossing issue 10 days ago, but the movement has refused,” the embassy spokesperson Nagy al-Nagy told The Cairo Post.

Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the crossing was closed amid high intensified security measures along the Egyptian side, especially after a terror attack targeted military personnel in October 2014.

However, the crossing has been re-operated exceptionally several times to facilitate flights of the Palestinians people. On Oct. 15, the crossing was reopened from the Palestine side as more than 2,000 passengers crossed. Over the past five weeks, the crossing was re-operated for the Palestinian pilgrims.

In response to a question that whether the Authority sees Egypt’s role on the Palestinian case is enough in the region, Shobaky said that Egypt is in a constant contact with the Palestinian and Israeli sides, saying, ” Egyptian role is positive to reduce the (Israeli) crimes that may be to be more than that, as Egypt has a strategic interest to put an end to the conflict and bring the stability to the region.”

“Palestine is calling for three demands: adopting a U.N. resolution to set a timetable for ending the occupation, getting international protection for the Palestinian people against the Israeli weapons, and establishing an international commission of inquiry into the israeli crimes,” he continued.

Shobaky said that a ministerial-level committee of Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and representatives from the Arab League will see reaching formula for the two-state solution.

Noble Sanctuary Cameras

Shobaky denied disagreement between Jordan and Palestinian Authority on installing surveillance cameras at the Noble Sanctuary that comes under Jordan’s custody to monitor the confrontations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“We support Jordan’s stand towards of al-Aqsa mosque and this is normal to return to a situation before 1994 according to the agreement of the Wadi Orba (the peace agreement between Israel and Palestine).”

It was agreed Sunday, under US brokerage, that surveillance cameras to be installed in Jerusalem, but Jordanian officials accused Israel of delaying the installment. However, i24 news site reported that Jordan will start a live stream of the scene in the Sanctuary online in coming few days.

ON Oct. 1,  confrontations broke out between the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Stri and the Israeli troops, leading to more than 30 Palestinians and seven Israelis killed. The confrontations erupted due to the Israeli forces and settlers’ violations to the Nobel Sanctuary and mutual stabbing attacks between both sides

In Aug. 31, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of trying, via its repeated violations, to divide the Nobel Sanctuary into two parts one for the Jewish and the other for the Muslims.

No IS militants in Palestine

Shobaky ruled out that the militant IS group has a footing in the Palestinian territories, saying “I do not think that there are militias of Da’esh in Palestine [… ] the youths’ anger has no connection with Da’esh.”

He voiced his concerns that the “Jewish religious extremism could create a Palestinian extremism in the Middle East.”

France’s ‘rejected invitation’

Responding to a question on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ lack of response to Paris invitation to talk the French initiative, which calls for a timetable to reach a U.N. decision on the two-state solution, Shobaki said that Palestine welcomed the French initiative, but marred by “tepidity” after being delayed due to the U.S.-Iranian deal.

Shobaky blamed the U.S. for disrupting a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu, saying “there is no problem between Paris and Ramallah and that the authority does not reject any call from France.”

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