PFLP: Gheit must apologize to Gazans

Group calls on Egyptian FM to take responsibility for threat to break Palestinians' legs.

Aboul Gheit 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Aboul Gheit 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
A radical Palestinian faction on Sunday denounced a recent statement by Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in which he warned the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip not to cross the border into Egypt or else they would have their legs broken. Anwar Raja, a member of the political bureau of the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General-Command, called on Aboul Gheit to retract his comments, made last week. "The diplomatic courtesy and the brotherly (Egyptian-Palestinian) relations requires that Mr. Aboul Gheit be more responsible in his statements," Raja said in a statement. Tens of thousands of Palestinians crossed into Egypt from the Gaza strip beginning late last month during a 12-day breach of the border. The border has been resealed, and Aboul Gheit warned last week that anyone trying to cross illegally "will get his legs broken." It was not known if Aboul Gheit meant what he said literally, but it illustrated the tensions that have flared between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Egypt. Raja stressed that Aboul Gheit's statement doesn't reflect the opinion of the Egyptian people and requested that he apologize to the Palestinians for the "moral and psychological harm he has done." There was no immediate comment from Aboul Gheit or the Egyptian government. Raja said the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza should be reopened according to a new mechanism that ensures the freedom of passage for people and goods from and to the Gaza Strip. He did not elaborate.