Israel prevents Abbas from entering Gaza 3 days before signing of Palestinian reconciliation agreement

Saleh Naami , Sunday 1 May 2011

His political advisor confirms Abbas is to go to Gaza before month's end, but Israel puts a wrench, blocking Fatah’s envoy from crossing into Gaza three days before the reconciliation agreement is to be signed in Egypt

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas's personal envoy for national reconciliation has been prevented from entering Gaza strip from Ramallah Sunday morning through the Erez crossing. This is, in fact, a second for Mohamed Abou Tir, Abbas's envoy.

As an alternative, Abou Tir is considering entering through the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian Gaza border.

Abou Tir's visit was expected to precede the signing of the national reconciliation agreement to be signed in Egypt on Wednesday 4 May to put the Palestinian house in order.

Meanwhile, Palestinian presidential political advisor, Nemr Hamad, confirmed Abbas's intention to go on with his planned visit to the Strip before the end of this month.

Abbas is expected to discuss all problems related to the formation of the new Palestinian government during his visit, as well as means to protect and resolve any blocks that might emerge for the agreement, Palestinian news agency, Qudsnet stated.

Interestingly, Saeb Erekat, a member of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation declared that the PLO is undergoing contacts with world powers to ensure international support and legalities needed for the new government to be formed as the agreement states.

On the other hand, in an interview with Voice of Palestine, Erekat reiterated the US approval of the agreement between the two rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, "our contacts with the Americans are going smoothly and we have to prove to the whole world that the national reconciliation deal is a focal point for the Palestinian cause. It is too early to talks of fears or scepticism."

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