Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai on Wednesday instructed the country’s Coordination and Liaison Authority to set up meetings with the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the issue of Gaza Strip border crossings with the Jewish state.
In accordance with an order from Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Mordechai’s office has informed the PA that it will not allow Hamas representatives to be part of new security arrangements at the crossings.
The Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group on Wednesday surrendered control of the Kerem Shalom crossing, through which goods enter the coastal territory, as well as the Erez crossing, which Palestinians use to enter and exit Israel, to the PA’s security forces as part of the recently reached reconciliation deal between the rival Palestinian factions.
Hamas had seized control of the crossings during its military coup in Gaza in 2007, when it ousted the Fatah-controlled PA from the territory.
Mordechai’s office said Israel’s meetings with the PA aim to outline new work procedures and ensure the security criteria that the Jewish state wishes to maintain in order to preserve the crossings’ routine operations.