Mofaz in Cairo: Israel agrees to reopen Rafah border crossing
In a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday accepted a proposal to reopen the Rafah border crossing. According to Haaretz, as part of the Egyptian proposal accepted by Israel, the Rafah terminal will be operated under joint Palestinian-Egyptian management, with European inspectors monitoring all entrants. Israel will monitor those entering the country via surveillance cameras.
The crossing was closed again Tuesday after 48 hours of operation that allowed around 5,250 Palestinians to cross both ways.
Israeli occupation authorities closed down the terminal on 7th September 2005 - the final date of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and said that Palestinian travelers should use the southern Kerem Shalom crossing to continue controlling traffic between Gaza Strip and Egypt for alleged security reasons, a matter that was rejected by the PA.
Meanwhile, one of the leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, has told the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz daily that his movement would increase the number of kidnappings of Israelis if Israel does not free Palestinian prisoners.
Last month, Hamas kidnapped and executed an Israeli citizen.