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Rafah to stay closed until Abbas back in control, says ambassador

February 11, 2014 at 2:03 pm

The Palestinian ambassador in Cairo has said that the Rafah crossing will be kept closed until the “legitimate” Palestinian Authority is back in control in Gaza and President Mahmoud Abbas’s guard can be posted on the border.

“Hamas is requested to reconsider its account with Egypt and the will of the people after the movement has lost its Syrian ally,” added Barakat Al-Farra.

Speaking to an Egyptian TV channel on Friday, Al-Farra claimed that Hamas “only represents itself” and should hold a referendum on its popularity in Gaza. He demanded the Islamic Resistance Movement to confirm that it is a Palestinian faction only and not part of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Farra’s comments came a few hours after the Director-General of the Border Crossings Authority in Gaza, Maher Abu Sabha, revealed that his Egyptian counterparts had told him that the Rafah Border Crossing will remain closed “until further notice” due to the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Under Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hamas-led Palestinian government in Gaza expressed his amazement at Al-Farra’s remarks. “This is a strange statement which indicates the lack of any sense of national responsibility towards all Palestinians,” said Ghazi Hamad, “as well as a determination to increase the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and kill any hope that they have.” He called upon the PA in Ramallah to put an end to Al-Farra’s tendency to slander the people of the Gaza Strip and incite Egyptians against them.

Image updated on 12:57 GMT on 24/09/2013