- February 8, 2008
Caretaker gov’t: We welcome European observers’ return to Rafah
The caretaker government headed by premier Ismail Haneyya stated Thursday that it does not oppose the return of European observers and PA administrators without Israeli interference to the Rafah crossing on condition that their role should not be arbitrary and disruptive to the opening and closing of the crossing.
“If European observers” role was not disruptive and compliant with Israel”s orders, so there would be nothing wrong with their supervision of the crossing; besides, there is national consensus against the return of Israelis to oversee the crossing,” Taher Al-Nunu, the government”s spokesman, said.
In an interview with the Egypt-based Al-Ahram newspaper, EU”s high representative for the foreign and security policy Javier Solana opined that the European side respects the ideas and perceptions put forward by Egypt to solve the problem of Palestinian crossings, adding that European observers are ready to return and resume their mission at the Rafah crossing after all parties concerned agree on that.
Nunu also strongly denounced the American administration and the IOA for pressuring Egypt to resettle Palestinians in the Sinai Peninsula, underscoring that Hamas categorically rejects this attempt.
Diplomatic sources had revealed that the IOA threatened Egypt with cutting American aid if it continued to cling to its stands in rejection of resettling Palestinians on its lands, but Cairo told Israel that it would take a series of punitive steps against it if it persisted in its attempts to market this project including the abolition of the agreement on the exchange of security information.