Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Palestinian border breach on its way

By Abdel-Rahman Hussein
April 11, 2008

CAIRO: Egypt has declared its “astonishment” at Palestinian comments indicating the possibility of a further border breach on the Gaza border, an official at the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry released a statement quoting a “reliable source” within the ministry who “expressed great astonishment and condemnation for the statements made by leaders [of the] Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad movements [suggesting] the possibility of resorting to another Palestinian human penetration [of] the Egyptian borders.”

In anticipation of a possible breach, Egypt deployed troops to the border and is preventing supply trucks from entering the areas of Rafah and Al-Arish to prevent any economic incentive for a new breach.
Hamas blew up openings in the Egypt-Gaza border wall last January, allowing an influx of hundreds of thousands of Gazans into Rafah and Al-Arish to purchase goods not available in Gaza because of the continuous Israeli siege.
“Such unacceptable statements totally contradict with the efforts Egypt is exerting to lift the siege of the Gaza Strip and reach calmness which could allow the Palestinians to resume their normal life,” said the ministry.
The statement drew parallels between Palestinian border breaches and workers’ strikes in Egypt, painting them both as contrived crises.
“The source outlined that attempts of contriving crises at the Egyptian borders which also coincide with contrived problems inside Egypt, is an issue [that] calls for suspicion and doubt at the real motive behind such statements of leaders from the Palestinian Islamic organizations in such form,” the statement read.
“The source affirmed Egypt's absolute rejection for any blackmail or pressure attempts from any side whatsoever,” and also “highlighted that any attempt to violate the Egyptian borders by force or illegally will be met by the appropriate seriousness and firmness, and with what guarantees the secure of these borders as well as keeping its sanctity,” the statement continued.
“All options are open to break the siege” senior Hamas leader Khalil Al-Hayya recently said in a Gaza press conference. “I expect that what will happen next will be greater than what happened before, not only against the Egyptian border, but against all the crossings,” he added.
The Foreign Ministry source stated that it was “regrettable that some at the Palestinian organizations seek to, whether through irresponsible statements, uncounted moves, or mistaken estimations, offend the historical relations between Egypt and its Palestinian brothers.
“Such behavior,” it continued, “offends the Palestinian cause and will not serve it or serve the Palestinian peoples who appreciate the great Egyptian role in supporting and sustaining their just cause, but it could serve previously observed and known narrow political considerations, which in all cases is an unacceptable and fruitless attitude with Egypt.” (Daily Star Egypt)


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