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Principale » Hamas hands over border crossings to PA

Hamas hands over border crossings to PA

02 Novembre 2017

Egypt, which in the past has accused Hamas of aiding an Islamist insurgency in its Sinai peninsula bordering Gaza, has kept Rafah largely closed.

Hisham Odwan, spokesman of the Hamas-run borders and crossings corporation, said: "From now and then, the Palestinian consensus government is the first and last body in charge of the crossing points in the Gaza Strip".

Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, when the Islamists seized control in a near civil war with Abbas's Fatah, based in the occupied West Bank. The handover signalled that Islamist movement Hamas remained firmly committed to a deal that would eventually see it give up full control of the Gaza Strip and bring an end to a 10-year rift with rivals Fatah.

Hamas security forces and border control agents have withdrawn from the crossings and dismantled their checkpoints.

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In a short speech, PA Public Works Minister Mufeed al-Hasayneh declared that "the word "split" will not exist in the Palestinian dictionary anymore". Speaking at the Rafah ceremony, Husayna said: "We began today, under the directive of the prime minister (Rami Hamdallah), to exercise our duties by receiving all the crossings".

All the Palestinian factions are due to meet in Cairo on November 21 to continue discussing implementation of the reconciliation deal, including the formation of a unity government that is not expected to include Hamas members.

"We will continue to liaise with the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, and our worldwide partners, including in the Quartet, in order to help this process to succeed, which is critical for reaching a negotiated two-state solution and sustainable peace", the statement said. Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza for a decade, citing the need to control Hamas and stop it from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them.

Israel, which also considers Hamas a terrorist organisation and had fought three wars with militants in Gaza, said it would not deal with a Palestinian government that "relies on Hamas".

Hamas hands over border crossings to PA