Gaza-W Bank passage to stay closed

Israel will not open the promised safe passage between the Gaza Strip and West Bank for Palestinians unless the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza is properly controlled, the Israeli army chief says.

    The EU-supervised Rafah terminal between Gaza, Egypt

    The decision was revealed by Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz at a closed meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee at the Israeli parliament on Tuesday.

    According to a participant in the meeting, Halutz told the committee that unless the Palestinians implement their part of the crossings agreement, preventing fighters and weapons from entering Gaza through Rafah, "then we cannot allow other places to be breached and open as well".

    The Haaretz daily reported Halutz also saying the passage would not be opened as long as Palestinian resistance fighters in Gaza fire rockets at Israel.

    The accord, including opening Rafah, other crossings and the "safe passage" through Israel, was hammered out by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last month.

    Israel is concerned that weapons entering Gaza could be transferred to the West Bank.

    Palestinians and European monitors at Rafah say the problems there are only technical.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.