Hamas calls for talks on crossings

Haniyeh's financial adviser: We have no problem coordinating with Israel on opening terminals, says Hamas will protect workers.

Israel Egypt border 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Israel Egypt border 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Hamas on Tuesday called for direct talks with Israel over the crossings into the Gaza Strip. The financial adviser to Hamas's leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said the group had "no problem coordinating with Israel all the ideas about how to open the crossings," Channel 10 reported. "We have a specialist and experienced team, which is not corrupt," he said. "It is possible to open the crossings tomorrow." He said Hamas had a security team that would protect all workers at the terminals, "even those on the Israeli side." "We remain obligated to ensure there is quiet on both sides of the terminals," he continued.
  • Hamas bans Israeli produce in Gaza Former Palestinian Authority government spokesman Ghazi Hamed reiterated Haniyeh's advisor's comments. "We are not talking about secret negotiations but direct talks with Israel," said Hamed. Hamed went on to say that any agreement reached between Israel and Ramallah would not be accepted by the "legal government of Ismail Haniyeh." On Monday, Hamas's Finance Ministry barred Israeli fruits and vegetables from entering the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom crossing. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Saturday that "we are against opening the Zionist-controlled crossing of Kerem Shalom." He added that its use was part of a conspiracy by Israel and the pro-American Fatah leadership in Ramallah against the Palestinians in Gaza. On Monday Hamas's Finance Ministry had barred Israeli fruits and vegetables from entering the Gaza Strip , according to the spokesman for the Fruit Growers Association. The move is likely to cost Israeli fruit growers NIS 3-5 million a day, according to the association. The Hamas decision will also make it harder for Palestinians to keep fruits and vegetables in their diet, particularly those items not grown in Gaza, according to Shlomo Dror, spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.