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'Dangerous' to Open Rafiah Crossing, Israel Says

Hamas is celebrating the opening of the Rafiah Crossing, while Israel warns the move is “dangerous.”
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 5/26/2011, 4:24 PM / Last Update: 5/26/2011, 4:41 PM

Flash 90

The Hamas rulers of Gaza are celebrating the impending opening of the Rafiah Crossing with Egypt on Saturday -- without European Union observers, who have not be invited to return.

In a statement released to the media, the terrorist organization said, “This decision reflects the spirit of revolution in Egypt and the depth of brotherhood between the Palestinian people and the Egyptian people, which has returned itself to its original role in the Palestinian matter.”

But Israelis are deeply concerned by the interim Egyptian government's move.

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom bluntly warned in an on Voice of Israel government radio Thursday, “This is a dangerous development that could lead to weapons and Al-Qaeda smuggling in Gaza.”

However, an article posted on the COLLive website just prior to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington contended that perhaps the opening of the Rafiah Crossing would create a third option.

“Opening the gates of Rafiah passage will transform Gaza de facto into an Egyptian canton,” the article opines. “By matching the demographic situation in the topographic mode, cantons in Judea and Samaria will hold a strong affinity to Israel... this will allow the practical realization of the canton system in Israel” (rather than creation of a PA state-ed.).

And there are opportunities to react  for Israel's benefit. The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel appealed to the Prime Minister to stop money and goods transfer to Gaza, saying that if the crossing is opened against prior agreements,  "Israel has no longer any humanitarian responsibility over the people of Gaza".