Israel agreed Thursday evening to allow Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to cross from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, but without the $35 million in cash he had brought from a tour of Muslim states.Haniyeh is nothing more than a bagman for a terrorist outfit who needs the money badly to continue its terror operations against Israel. Israel, for its part, doesn't want the terrorists to get their hands on money that will go to buying weapons and manpower to fuel the ongoing war against Israel. So, it stopped Haniyeh and refused to allow him entry.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz had earlier instructed the Israel Defense Forces to stop Palestinians entering Gaza via the Rafah border crossing, in order to prevent Haniyeh from crossing with the money.
Israel Radio reported that the money would be left in Egypt, and on Friday transferred to the bank account of the Arab League.
Israeli security sources said that the decision to close the border was made to stop the cash transfer, not to prevent Haniyeh’s return.
The head of Egypt’s intelligence service, Omar Suleiman, had contacted Israeli officials in order to find a solution that would allow Haniyeh to return to the Strip.
Palestinian official Hani Jabour, a coordinator at the Rafah crossing, said Israeli authorities closed the border after Haniyeh told Egyptian authorities he was carrying the money.
Meanwhile, here's a proposal to get away from land for peace. It's money for peace. I'd like to think of it as money for bombs, given the pathological and religious nature of the Palestinian war against Israel's existence. Providing yet more money, no matter the number and type of conditions on its usage, will simply fuel the terror war against Israel.
Hamas thugs tried to break into the Rafah crossing to get Haniyeh into Gaza, sparking a gunbattle. Haniyeh is still in Egypt as the international monitors at the crossing have closed it to all traffic.
Hamas militants waiting outside the terminal grew impatient waiting for Haniyeh's return and broke into the compound shooting in the air. The Palestinian Presidential Guard, responsible for security at the terminal, began firing at them, according to an Associated Press reporter at the terminal.UPDATE:
Travelers in the terminal lobby ran for cover, some carrying their luggage. Women and children hid behind walls and nearby taxis outside.
The Hamas militants, chanting "God is great, let's liberate this place" took over the arrival hall, and the border guards escorted the European monitors to safety.
"There is chaos here," said Wael Dahab, a spokesman for the Presidential Guard.
Haniyeh aide Ahmed Yousef ran into the terminal to try to persuade the gunmen to leave.
Maria Telleria, spokeswoman for the EU monitoring mission, said all 16 monitors were safely evacuated and the border would remain closed.
The plot thickens. Haniyeh was allowed entry to Gaza, but without the money. Within minutes, his convoy came under intense fire from Fatah thugs and one of Haniyeh's bodyguards was killed and his son injured. Hamas calls this an assassination attempt on Haniyeh.
Israeli officials said from the beginning that Haniyeh could cross into Gaza without the money. Egyptian mediators stepped in to help resolve the standoff and Haniyeh finally was allowed to cross into Gaza late Thursday. But Maria Telleria, spokeswoman for European border monitors at the crossing, said Haniyeh left the funds, estimated at $35 million, in Egypt.No word on where all those bullets landed after being fired in the air, but have no fear that if anyone was injured, it was the Zionists' fault.
After he crossed, there was a new burst of gunfire and Haniyeh's convoy was forced to speed away. A 24-year-old bodyguard for Haniyeh was shot in the head and killed. Officials said Haniyeh was unharmed but his son was shot and slightly injured in the exchange.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed regret for the shooting of the bodyguard, according to the Palestinian news agency, WAFA.
Haniyeh left the crossing for his home near Gaza City. Arriving home around midnight, the prime minister was furious over the gunfire at his convoy. He blamed Israel for the delay at the border but added: "We know the party that shot directly at our cars, injuring some of the people with me ... and we also know how to deal with this."
About 50 gunmen greeted Haniyeh at his home in a refugee camp next to Gaza City, firing in the air and throwing candies.
Earlier Thursday, pro-Fatah Palestinian officers arrested a Hamas-linked militant in the killing of the three young sons of a Fatah security chief. The militant's allies retaliated by kidnapping a security officer.
Technorati: terrorism, nasrallah, fatah, haniyeh, Gilad, Shalit, Olmert, carter, Abbas, Regev, Goldwasser, PRC, Hamas, Gaza, palestinian, Israel, hizbullah, hezbullah, hezbollah, lebanon, syria.