Israel to appeal to Egypt on smuggling

Mubarak slams Hamas takeover of Gaza; Haniyeh wants unconditional negotiations.

June 23, 2007 10:37
1 minute read.
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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will ask Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to intensify his country's efforts to stop the smuggling of weapons through the Philadelphi Corridor during a summit between them, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders in Sharm e-Sheikh on Monday. An official in Jerusalem told Israel Radio on Saturday that Egypt could do more to prevent the smuggling on its border with Israel if it wished to do so. Egypt and Jordan must prevent terror operatives from becoming more confident for they endanger stability not only in Israel, but in their countries as well, he added. Furthermore, Israel must make it clear that violence will not advance anything and that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will be guaranteed cooperation by the international community to combat violence in the Palestinian-controlled territories, said the official. Mubarak on Saturday described Hamas's takeover of Gaza as a "coup" and warned that group's conflict with the moderate Fatah movement could lead to the creation of two Palestinian entities. In his first remarks since Hamas wrested control over the Strip, Mubarak reassured Abbas of Egypt's support. "We have been following closely the repercussions of the coup over Palestinian legitimacy in Gaza and its grave setbacks on the Palestinian people," Mubarak said. Abbas was expected to set off later Saturday for talks in Jordan regarding the latest events. The Fatah leader was scheduled to meet with King Abdullah II and other Jordanian officials on Sunday ahead of Monday's four-way meeting. Meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a renewal of negotiations between his movement and Fatah. "The only way to end the events is through dialogue without preconditions," Haniyeh told Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. "The focus of the talks should not be winners or losers but rather the establishment of a united Palestinian government," he added. Abbas has declined negotiations between the two factions since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip a week and a half ago, Army Radio reported. Abbas accused Hamas of trying to assassinate him and attempting to start a revolution in Gaza. Hamas rejected the chairman's accusations and said he was a US collaborator. AP contributed to this report.

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