Ramallah – Palestinian Crossing and Borders Authority began assuming its duties of managing Gaza’s crossings, according to the Palestinian Public Works Minister Mufeed al-Hasaynah.
Hasaynah spoke during a meeting with General Director of Palestinian Crossing and Borders Authority Nazmi Muhanna, Hamas Head of National Security Maj-Gen Tawfiq Abu Naim, Head of Gaza Civil Affairs Saleh al-Zeq, Director of Gaza Crossings Raed Fattouh. He explained that the committee began assuming its duties and the work began backed by everyone’s determination to succeed in this.
Muhanna told journalists that he had been sent by president Mahmud Abbas to implement the “first step” in the reconciliation agreement, “the taking over of the crossings.”
He said he was hopeful that in talks with Hamas they would agree on handing over the borders quickly.
The crossings have been one of the issues that long hindered previous agreements due the authority’s desire to completely control it, and Hamas’ insistence on co-managing the crossings. However, Hamas agreed this time to hand the crossings over to the government.
All crossings are meant to be handed over to the Palestinian Authority by the beginning of November ahead of the full transfer of power on first of December.
However, Hamas was not pleased with PA focusing on the crossings rather than other issues.
Hamas member of political bureau Moussa Abu Marzouk criticized statements of several officials concerning issues like the employees or security, saying “they don’t promise good.”
Hamas’ spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum also condemned Abbas’ for keeping his measures against Gaza and blatant denial of reconciliation requirements.
“The failure of [Palestinian] Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to respond affirmatively to the popular and national demands to cancel his arbitrary measures against our people in Gaza is unjustifiable and a clear denial of the demands of reconciliation. He must bear responsibility for exacerbating the people’s suffering and crises,” said Barhoum.
Sami Abu Zahri, also Hamas’ spokesperson, said that it is unjustifiable to maintain the measures on Gaza.
Zahri tweeted that the government only talks about handing the crossings and digging for gas.
Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that despite the dissolving of the administrative committee in Gaza and the agreement, the president has no intention of end his punitive measures. The sources added that Abbas would like to see how things go first in Gaza.
Abbas is in no hurry and would like to make sure the reconciliation is not just another agreement, according to the sources.
Fatah held a meeting chaired by Mahmoud Abbas during which the movement discussed Egypt-sponsored talks and reiterated its determination to re-establish national unity.
The movement issued a statement following he meeting stating the importance of full commitment to the primary law, protect the democratic political system, and maintain the Palestinian national independent decision.
The central committee lauded the Egyptian leadership for its efforts and distinguished role in achieving the agreement in Cairo. The committee also commended the efforts and support of Arab leaderships such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.