Israel rejects Hamas crossing request

Defense official: Offer to stop attacks if passages are opened is not practical.

karni crossing 298 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
karni crossing 298 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Israel rejected Thursday an offer made by deposed Palestinian Authority prime minister Ismail Haniyeh for Hamas to stop terror attacks in the Gaza Strip if crossings to the Strip are opened, Israel Radio reported. According to a defense official, the offer wasn't practical and Israel did not intend to strengthen the Hamas government in the Strip. The official said that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that goods were being transferred through the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings on a daily basis.
  • EU monitors to stay away from Rafah Haniyeh's government, claimed the official, was not asking to alleviate the Palestinians' distress but rather to bring prosperity and welfare to Gaza - possible only through reopening the Karni Crossing. A high-ranking official from the Hamas government asked Israel via secret channels to open crossings, Karni in particular, and in turn Hamas would remove their operatives from the area. Israel would then authorize the deployment of troops the country saw fit, preferably PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Force 17 "Presidential Guard", according to the deal. If Israel agreed, Haniyeh's government would authorize the deal within several hours, said the report. After the implementation of the deal, Hamas would be ready to negotiate over an end to the firing of rockets into Israel, said the official.