Photo: AP
Aboul Gheit
Photo: AP
Egyptian guards on Rafah border
Photo: AFP

Hamas: Egypt should voice its anger against Israel

Egyptian foreign minister threatens Palestinian infiltrators, says 'whoever breaks the border line will have his foot broken'; Hamas leader in Gaza calls remarks 'inappropriate'

Egypt has warned Palestinians against trying to break through its resealed Gaza border about two weeks after Hamas militants blew it open to defy an Israeli-led blockade.


After allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to cross into the Sinai peninsula last month, Egypt on Sunday closed the border to Palestinians seeking entry. 


A day later, one person was killed and dozens more wounded in clashes between Egyptian border guards and Palestinian militants. Security sources said several thousand Palestinians in Egypt would be returned to Gaza in organized groups.


"Whoever breaks the border line will have his foot broken," Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in comments carried by the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) on Thursday.


Aboul Gheit said Egyptian efforts were continuing with Israel and the European Union to re-open the Rafah border crossing "in a legal way", and criticized Hamas for recent fighting with Israel that it called "cartoonish and comical".


Aboul Gheit said Hamas rockets that were "lost in the sands of Israel" were simply giving the Jewish state a chance to strike at Gaza, causing harm to Palestinians.


The Egyptian foreign minister's remarks drew a quick response from a Hamas leader in Gaza, Aami Abu Zuhri, who called them "inappropriate" and said he did not believe they reflected the official Egyptian stance.


"All we want is an open border crossing," Abu Zuhri said. "Instead of making these threats against the Palestinian people, he (Aboul Gheit) should voice his anger against the Israeli occupation, which is what is closing the border crossings between Gaza and Egypt."


Earlier this week, About Gheit called on Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, to allow Palestinian Authority personnel to oversee the Egypt-Gaza border at Rafah, and warned Gazans not to test Egypt's patience.


Reuters and AP contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 02.07.08, 13:53
 new comment
This will delete your current comment