'Hamas will accept Fatah at Rafah'

Group will agree to presence of PA men if they are residents of the Strip, rep tells Asharq.

Rafah 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Rafah 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hamas is prepared to agree to the deployment of Fatah forces at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Sinai, the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Alawsat reported on Saturday morning. The Islamist group's delegation in Cairo reportedly told diplomats it would authorize such a move with the opening of the Rafah crossing on the condition that the personnel reporting to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were themselves residents of the Strip. The delegation arrived in Egypt on Friday to continue talks with mediators over a truce with Israel. The officials said discussions would focus on a "working paper" to consolidate the cease-fire with Israel following Operation Cast Lead. The negotiations would also reportedly address the fate of abducted soldier Gilad Schalit. In the unconfirmed report, Hamas sources were quoted as saying that the group had asked the Egyptians to include Turkish observers in a European peacekeeping force that could be situated at the all the Gaza crossings, including those with Israel.