Sisi to Abbas: opening Rafah crossing regularly based on PA’s return to Gaza
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas - YOUM7

CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi reiterated Sunday that opening the Egypt-Gaza border crossing of Rafah depends on bringing the border management under the Palestinian Authority’s control.

“Return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza strip and its supervision on the crossing in accordance with the international decisions will bear positive results on the regularity of opening the strip’s crossing,” Sisi told his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo.

He added that measures taken by Egypt to secure the eastern borders, including Hamas-controlled Rfaha crossing, are being conducted in full cooperation with the PA, according to a statement from the Egyptian Presidency Sunday.

A few hours earlier, Hamas denied media reports indicating that there would be a tripartite agreement among PA, Hamas, and Egypt, per which Hamas would cede the management of the crossing, the movement posted on its official Twitter account Sunday.

Abbas paid Cairo a two-day visit Saturday; he talked with Sisi the latest development of the Palestine -Israel conflict. Both leaders tackled the international efforts to resume the peace talks between the conflicting parts amid the Israeli violations against the Palestinian people since early October.

Palestinian ambassador to Cairo Gamal Shobaky previously told The Cairo Post that President Sisi has noted that Egypt would re-open the crossing from its direction in case Hamas ceded its management to the Palestine Authority.

Shobaky added that the authority refuses the presence of any Hamas’ representative at the crossing, to facilitate the traffic for Palestinian passengers stranded at both directions.

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.

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