Essam al-Da’ales, personal adviser to the prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, considered that the return of the Palestinian Authority (PA) president’s guard to administer the Rafah crossing and the holding of legislative and presidential elections without Hamas, were measures aimed at increasing the tightening of the siege on the Gaza Strip.
Al Sharq al Awsat newspaper reported that, “the Palestinian Authority is considering taking unprecedented steps towards the Gaza Strip, including the return of the presidential guard to the Rafah crossing in coordination with Egypt and the holding of legislative and presidential elections without Hamas.”
Al-Da’ales told Palestine, “Some Fatah leaders are trying to continuously besiege the area and we do not rule out their cooperation with any party whatsoever for restricting Gazans and punishing them.” He expressed surprise at elections being held without the participation of Hamas, saying, “They (the PA) must be dreaming to think of holding elections without the participation of Hamas and the Gaza Strip,” pointing out that those elections and procedures “will not have legitimacy and will not be facilitated in Gaza.” He stressed that such a move would affect national reconciliation, adding that the PA is only interested in conducting negotiations with the Israeli occupation, “and whenever doors of negotiations with the occupation are opened, doors of reconciliation get closed.”
Al-Da’ales explained that the continued closure of the Rafah crossing would negatively affect the Strip’s population, particularly those who have severe health conditions which require travel abroad to receive urgent treatment. Da’ales also said that, “The closure of the tunnels without finding alternatives, would exacerbate the suffering of Gazans, because it is the only source through which the Gazans essential needs of food, clothing, medicines and others can be met.”
Al-Da’ales expressed the Palestinian government’s regret at the fall of thousands of martyrs and injured people in Egypt, hoping that the crisis would end soon and Egypt would be able to continue to play a leading role in the Middle East, with the return of security and stability.