Shalom: Unity deal will create state run by Hamas, Iran

Vice premier reiterates concerns of gov't officials that Egyptian plan to open Rafah crossing will allow terrorists, weapons to enter Gaza.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 1, 2011 09:40
1 minute read.
Silvan Shalom

silvan shalom 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Vice Premier Silvan Shalom on Sunday addressed the Palestinian unity deal between Fatah and Hamas, saying countries who rushed to recognize a Palestinian state will be made aware of the fact that they are supporting the formation of an entity controlled by Hamas and Iran. Shalom's comments came in an interview with Israel Radio.

Shalom said that the Palestinian unity deal should serve as a reason not to allow the formation and recognition of a Palestinian state. He said the deal was part of the Islamic Republic and its proxies' struggle for hegemony in the Middle East.

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The vice premier also expressed concern over Egyptian plans to open up the Rafah crossing with Gaza, saying Israel must prepare for changes in Egyptian policy and in the Middle East.

Shalom warned that the opening of the Rafah crossing could lead to terror operatives and materials entering Gaza.

On Thursday, Egypt announced plans to permanently open the crossing sometime in the next 10 days. While the crossing has been officially closed since June 2007, when Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip, Egypt has sporadically opened it to allow Palestinians to travel in and out of Gaza.

“We are troubled by recent developments concerning Egypt. We are troubled by the voices calling for the abrogation of the peace treaty. We are troubled by the rapprochement between Iran and Egypt, and we are troubled by the upgrading of the relationship between Egypt and Hamas,” a government official told The Jerusalem Post Saturday night.

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These developments, as well as the planned opening of the Rafah crossing between Sinai and the Gaza Strip, have strategic implications for Israel, the source said.

Hamas was able to build a formidable military machine in Gaza when the Rafah crossing was closed and the Egyptian government was actively working to prevent weapons smuggling, he said. Opening Rafah would make it possible for Hamas to build an even more formidable terrorist military machine, the source said.

Yaakov Katz and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report

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