Hamas warns of human crisis if Gaza pilgrims are not allowed to return
Hamas warns of human crisis if Gaza pilgrims are not allowed to return
Sunday, December 30,2007 06:20

The Hamas Movement said on Saturday that the safe return of Gaza pilgrims was hinged on the Jordanian and Egyptian governments and called on both to reject Zio-American pressures that enjoy PA leadership"s backing.

The Movement in a statement read out at a press conference in Gaza said that Hamas supports the pilgrims" insistence on returning via the Rafah crossing from where they got out to preserve their dignity and to avert any security threats against them in the event they returned via other Israeli-controlled crossings.

Hamas asserted refusal of the return of those pilgrims via any other terminal, adding that the Palestinian people were following news of the stranded pilgrims with deep concern especially when 60% of them were women.

It warned of a serious human crisis threatening those pilgrims because of the freezing winter conditions as many of them suffer serious diseases and disabilities.

Hamas noted that the tragedy already started with the death of the 62-year-old woman Shafika Al-Buhaisi.

The Movement appealed to the Arab League, the OIC and all legal and human rights organizations along with world leaders and religious scholars to exert all efforts and pressures to end the suffering of the pilgrims who are stranded at sea. It also called on the media to highlight the plight of those pilgrims.

Egypt had refused entry of the returning pilgrims via Rafah and asked them to sign documents accepting to return via the Israeli-controlled Karm Abu Salem crossing, a thing which was unanimously rejected by all pilgrims.

Jordanian foreign ministry sources said that efforts were being exerted to convince Egypt to accept the pilgrims" return via Rafah terminal after they left the Jordanian port of Aqaba heading to the Egyptian port of Nuwaibe.

Well informed Palestinian sources said that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas"s stand was the main stumbling bloc before return of those pilgrims via Rafah terminal.

They told Quds Press that Abbas was pressuring Egypt through the USA to prevent the pilgrims return via Rafah. The sources underlined that Abbas assigned his information and prisoners" affairs ministers in Fayyad"s illegal government to follow up the issue and to hold contacts with all parties to block the return of those pilgrims regardless of the price.

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