Rafah Crossing
Rafah CrossingIDF spokesperson

The Hamas terror group has informed the Egyptians that it would refuse any plan connected to the Rafah Crossing so long as Israel controls it.

Al Akhbar reported that Ahmad Abed al-Halak, the Egyptian intelligence official charged with "Palestinian" affairs, was personally told of this development. According to that announcement, Hamas is demanding a "complete withdrawal" of Israel from the Rafah Crossing.

An Egyptian source told Al Akhbar that several ideas for reopening the Rafah Crossing were suggested, including passing its control to the Palestinian Authority. He added that a delegation will hold talks with Israel and may return to Cairo very soon.

The Egyptian source also said that some of the negotiations are connected to "pacifying the Palestinians" and bringing about an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas regarding the future control of Gaza.

Last week, the Palestinian Authority (PA) expressed willingness to take part in running the Rafah Crossing on the border of the Gaza Strip with Egypt with the participation of international observers.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ office said in a statement that this position was taken in response to the green light given by the European Union's foreign ministers to send observers to the Rafah Crossing, in accordance with the Agreement on Movement and Access which was signed in 2005.

The agreement in question was signed between Israel and the PA in November 2005, several months after the withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip.

According to this agreement, the Rafah Crossing is to be operated by representatives of the Palestinian Authority and international observers and under the remote supervision of Israeli security forces.

The military coup by Hamas in 2007 and the terrorist organization's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip led to the freezing of the agreement.