December 2, 2005.
Note of the Likud of Holland: The ink is not yet dry on another treaty between
the Palestinians and Israel (the Agreement on Gaza movement, of November 15), or the
Palestinians show again they have no intention of adhering to it.
Palestinians have allowed up to 15 militants wanted by Israel to return to the
Gaza Strip, violating a U.S.-wrested agreement that was to have let Israel
monitor who enters the area from Egypt, Israel Radio reported Friday, citing
Palestinian security officials.
The entry of the Hamas militants including one of the group’s founders through
the border crossing at Rafah threatened to set off Israeli economic sanctions,
which would further batter Gaza’s shattered economy. Palestinian officials say
anyone with a Palestinian identity card can enter Gaza from Rafah.
Israel closed the Rafah passage Gaza’s main gateway to the outside world
shortly before withdrawing from the strip in early September. The crossing
reopened last week after months of wrangling between Israel and the
Palestinians over security procedures and only after U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice applied heavy pressure to both sides to clinch a deal.
Israel was afraid that militants or arms would flow into Gaza through Rafah, but
agreed to let the border reopen after the Palestinians accepted the presence of
European monitors and installed security cameras to let Israel monitor the
In recent days, Israel has complained that the information it is receiving has
been delayed. On Thursday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened that if Israel
doesn’t receive real-time information, it would expel Gaza from a customs
agreement, in effect severing its crucial economic ties with Palestinians in the
“If it turns out that we don’t have real-time monitoring of who is coming in,
Israel has one tool perhaps the most effective and the most painful that the
crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel … will become (international)
border crossings,” and the customs arrangement will be rescinded, Sharon said.
Israel Radio said the militants had either been expelled from Palestinian
territories by Israel, or fled, fearing Israeli retribution. Some left before the first
Palestinian uprising against Israel broke out in 1987. Their ranks included
Hamas founder Ahmed el-Malah and Fadel Zahar, a brother of Hamas leader
Mahmoud Zahar, whom Israel expelled to Lebanon in 1991.