”Hamas agrees to Turkish force in Rafah”January 13th, 2009 - 6:14 pm ICT by ANI
Jerusalem, Jan.13 (ANI):The banned militant organisation Hamas is reportedly willing to allow a Turkish force to be deployed at the Rafah crossing, the London-based Arabic daily Al Hayat said.
The Jerusalem Post said Hamas would agree to a Turkish deployment of forces because it “harbors respect to Turkey as an Islamic nation.”
Turkey has made clear that it would be willing to contribute to a “technical” or “observer” mission.
However, the details of the mission - where it would be located, what exactly it would do, who would be involved, what the role of the Palestinian Authority would be - were still being formulated.
There is some talk about carving out a “neutral zone” along the border where the team would operate.
Hamas would only consent to the deployment of Turkish forces in the Strip if all of the crossings into Gaza are opened, Hamas sources told the paper.
The group has so far resisted the idea of international monitors because it wants control of the Gaza border, and Egypt has opposed the presence of foreign forces on its soil as a violation of its sovereignty.
Egypt would prefer that Fatah man the border on the Gaza side and does not believe it needs outside help to monitor its own crossing. (ANI)
Tags: al hayat, arabic, crossings, deployment, egypt, fatah, gaza, hamas, international monitors, islamic nation, jerusalem post, militant organisation, neutral zone, observer mission, palestinian authority, presence, rafah, soil, sovereignty, turkish forces