'Hamas denies Fatah delegation entry to Gaza'

Gaza group says that Fatah officials arriving for reconciliation talks refused to wait longer than 10 minutes.

January 7, 2012 08:30
1 minute read.
Erez Crossing in northern Gaza

Erez Crossing 311 (R). (photo credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

Hamas blocked a planned high-level Fatah visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday, Fatah officials claimed. The delegation was delayed at the Erez crossing before Hamas officials denied them entry over an hour and a half later, the delegation members told Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The officials were set to discuss the implementation of the Palestinian unity deal between the rival Palestinian factions.

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Ismail Jaber, a former Fatah security commander and member of the delegation, told WAFA that he and the other officials were denied entry to the coastal strip despite having coordinated the visit 48 hours in advance.

Hamas, however, denied that it refused entry to the delegation, instead saying that the Fatah officials waited only 10 minutes at the border and refused to wait while border guards tried to arrange their entry, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

A statement by the Hamas Interior Ministry in Gaza added that a member of the delegation insulted the Hamas officers.

Earlier in the week, Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath arrived in the Gaza Strip to discuss ways of implementing a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement.

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