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Hamas: 2005 agreement on Rafah Crossing 'unworkable'

Senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk has said that the 2005 agreement on the Rafah Crossing is "old and unworkable."

Turkish news agency Anadolu reported Abu Marzouk as saying that Egypt should reach a deal with the upcoming Palestinian government on how to operate the crossing in the same way as other Egyptian crossings with other countries.

According to the 2005 agreement there must be European observers on the crossing and Israeli cameras to watch Palestinian passengers. "That is now old," Abu Marzouk said. "They used to be there to observe who is entering or leaving the Strip. Egypt was not part of the agreement."

Abu Marzouk said that this issue is not currently posed for discussion with Fatah. "It was discussed with Fatah and the Egyptians in the past, and we reached to some positive and viable solutions," he said, "but Fatah always retreated from these solutions."

He said that the main issue now is to open the crossing because it is the only terminal for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to the outside world.

The senior Hamas leader said that his movement is committed to the latest agreement with Fatah. He said that Fatah leader Azzam Al-Ahmad is coming to the Strip alone to discuss names for the unity government.

Regarding the PLO, he said: "We agreed that the temporary leadership, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad for the PLO, should meet with a month. This leadership is to meet and discuss three main issues: the political file, rebuilding the PLO and the National Council's elections."

"We are currently trying to build the unity of our people inside Palestine and outside," he said. "We are considering building the unity on true bases and we are developing all institutions to end up with a common national agenda," he added.

Commenting on remarks of Egypt's presidential candidate Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi, who refused to say whether he considers Hamas an enemy to Egypt, Abu Marzouk said: "Based on this, we expect that he will be open to all choices, and after elections, he will decide how to deal with Hamas."

He said that Hamas did not contact Egypt regarding political issues after the reconciliation agreement was signed with Fatah.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on 23 April after a PLO delegation visited the Gaza Strip. They agreed to end the internal division and form a Palestinian national unity government within five weeks.


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