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Hamas not to accept EU monitors on Gaza crossing

English.news.cn   2012-11-28 20:37:27            

GAZA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Hamas movement told Egyptian mediators that it will not accept the return of European Union's ( EU) monitors on the Gaza Strip's Rafah border crossing point, a Hamas official said Wednesday.

Hamas envoys in Egypt's capital of Cairo, who negotiate indirectly with Israel on completing other articles of a recent ceasefire deal, stressed that the crossing should operate "under a pure Palestinian-Egyptian management," according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Before Hamas routed forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and took over Gaza in 2007, the crossing at Rafah, the only gate for travelers bypassing Israeli territories, was functioning with the presence of pro-Abbas forces and the EU monitors. That was according to a U.S.-sponsored deal brokered in 2005 after Israel withdrew its settlers and troops from Gaza.

"The 2005 agreement has expired and been buried for a long time and we won't accept attempts to revive it," the official said.

Since 2007, Egypt started opening the crossing on humanitarian bases, with more working hours and facilities applied after the Egyptian unrest in 2011 which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak and brought Hamas' allies, the Muslim Brotherhood, into power.

Hamas wants the crossing to open 24 hours for individuals and also for trade. For years, Gaza's trade has been taking place through Israel, which reduced its commercial crossing points with Gaza to one after Hamas seized power in the coastal enclave.

The relaxation of Israel's sanctions on Gaza is part of last week's ceasefire deal, which ended eight days of an Israeli air blitz against the Gaza Strip.

During the eight-day conflict, Israeli attacks killed 168 Palestinians. On Wednesday, Hamas Health Ministry announced that a 21-year-old Palestinian died due to his wounds, putting the number of people died after the end of the fighting to eight. On the Israeli die, six were killed by rockets fired from Gaza.

Editor: znz
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