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Minister Friedmann
Photo: Haim Zach
Palestinians at Erez crossing
Photo: AP
Justice minister: Let refugees move from Gaza to West Bank
Prof Daniel Friedmann calls on government to allow Palestinians wishing to leave 'Hamastan' to do so: 'The State of Israel must ease their passage, as long as they are not Hamas members or people jeopardizing our security'
Gaza Strip residents wishing to flee Hamas' terror and takeover should be allowed to cross into the Palestinian Authority territories in the West Bank, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann said Monday morning.

 

"The State of Israel must ease their passage, as long as they are not Hamas members or people jeopardizing our security," he added.

 

On Saturday, Israel allowed dozens of senior Fatah officials and their family members to move from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

 

Among those who passed through the Erez crossing were Fatah's spokesmen in the Strip, Tawfik Abu Khoussa and Maher Makdad, National Security Commander Jamal Kayed, Fatah Secretary-General in the Strip Majed Abu Shammala, and a group of officials and officers.

 

After the officials' passage, civilians also attempted to enter Israel, but the crossing was closed and soldiers fired in the air.

 

The officials who left Gaza were senior Fatah members who were arrested by Hamas recently and later released as part of the general amnesty declared by the movement. They crossed the Erez crossing from the Strip and arrived in Ramallah.

 

On Sunday, hundreds of Palestinians arrived at the crossings in an attempt to cross to the Israeli side. According to the IDF, some 300 people were waiting at the crossing, while Palestinian sources presented a higher number – between 500 to 700 people.

 

Security sources told Ynet, "Not everyone who wants to flee is really in danger. The people want to escape also for fear of the economic and social situation in Gaza. If we allow masses of people to leave Gaza to the West Bank, it is unclear how this will affect the Judea and Samaria area."

 

Meanwhile, eight Israeli human rights organizations called on outgoing Defense Minister Amir Peretz and coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj-Gen, Yosef Mishlav, to open Gaza's border crossings and allow Palestinians to enter Israel.

 

In their letter, the groups wrote that the Israeli government must open the crossings in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster from developing in Gaza.

 

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