Abbas appoints guard service to monitor Rafah

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday appointed his presidential guards to coordinate security at the vital Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, an official in Abbas' office said. The decision is implementation of a ruling last week in which Abbas removed authority for security at the crossing points from the Palestinian Cabinet, which is run by the Islamic Hamas. In his conflict with Hamas, Abbas, who is the leader of the rival Fatah, has also appointed his own commander for the security forces under Cabinet control. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give details to the media, said the new arrangement at the Rafah crossing would go into effect on Tuesday. Rafah is the only point of entry and exit between Gaza and the outside world besides Israel.