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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

PA worried about Hamas political gains, "No humanitarian crisis in Gaza"

The Palestinian Authority is rightly worried that the flotilla incident has strengthened Hamas' rule over Gaza.

From JPost:
The Palestinian Authority is concerned about Turkey’s increased support for Hamas, a PA official in Ramallah said on Monday.

The official said that the PA leadership was “unhappy” with Turkey’s policy toward Hamas, especially with regard to pressure to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip unconditionally.

Turkey’s policy is emboldening Hamas and undermining the Palestinian Authority,” the official told The Jerusalem Post.

“Of course we want to see the blockade lifted, but Hamas must also end its coup in the Gaza Strip and accept an Egyptian proposal for achieving reconciliation with Fatah.”

The PA is also concerned the reopening of the Rafah border crossing to Sinai would enable Hamas to tighten its grip on the Strip.

“We wish to remind the Turkish and Egyptian governments that the border crossing was controlled by the Palestinian Authority before Hamas launched its coup in 2007,” the official added. “If the Rafah border crossing is going to be reopened, that should be done in coordination with us and not with Hamas.”

Azzam al-Ahmed, a top Fatah official in the West Bank, was quoted over the weekend as saying that he was opposed to the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to end the dispute with his faction.

Ahmed stressed that there was no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip because the PA government was sending aid through Israeli border crossings.
At the very least, if Hamas does agree to a reconciliation it will be on terms far more favorable to Hamas.

As far as the goods now crossing the Rafah crossing, Egypt is still not allowing cement - but will coordinate the delivery of cement with Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing to NGOs such as UNRWA.