Arab NGOs call on Hamas to reopen Gaza crossing

Hamas allows entry into Gaza, but bans those under the age of 45 from leaving.

AFP,

The Erez crossing
The Erez crossing
Photo: Yonatan Zindel, Flash 90

Arab NGOs and rights groups on Thursday called on the Hamas regime in Gaza to reopen the only foot crossing into Israel, after the Islamist movement closed it following an assassination.

The 'Palestinian NGOs Network,' a coalition of more than 100 charities and rights groups, demanded the "lifting of restrictions and restrictive measures which violate human rights", a statement said.

"Security goals should not come at the expense of human rights," it added.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, shut the Erez crossing into Israel on Sunday after blaming the Jewish state for assassinating a senior commander, Mazen Faqha, 38, in his home last Friday.

Faqha was assassinated within Gaza, which would signal a huge change in Israel's method of eliminating terrorist murderers in the region, which up to now was by launching pinpointed missiles fired from IAF planes. Israel has not commented on the accusation that it was responsible for gunning down the terrorist..

On Monday, they reopened it for people going into Gaza, but people under the age of 45 are still largely prevented from leaving.

Reports said Hamas were looking for the alleged assassins, who they believe remain in Gaza.

Hamas said Faqha formed cells for their military wing in Judea and Samaria.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza for a decade, largely restricting residents from entering.

However, Israel grants hundreds of permits for medical, educational, business and other reasons each week. It also allows hundreds of trucks bearing supplies into Gaza each week.

Hamas, which has launched thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets, has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.


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