Egypt rejects idea of Israel waiving responsibility for Gaza
A top Egyptian official said Thursday that Egypt's border with Gaza would go back to normal, and strongly rejected the idea - floated by Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai - that Israel might relinquish all responsibility for the troubled Gaza Strip.
"This is a wrong assumption," Hossam Zaki, the official spokesman for Egypt's foreign ministry, said of Israeli hints that it was thinking of giving up all responsibility for Gaza including supplying electricity, now that the territory's southern border with Egypt is open. "The current situation is only an exception and for temporary reasons, Zaki said. "The border will go back to normal."
Meanwhile, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday called on Gazans not to clash with Egyptian security forces guarding the border, a day after ilitants smashed the frontier fence and flooded into Egypt.
"We reject attempts to create crisis with Egyptian security forces in Rafah," Mubarak said. "We know very well our national security considerations. We will not give them up and we will not let anyone harm them or attempt to harm them."
Mubarak also called on Palestinian militants to put an end to their disagreements and work to improve the situation in the impoverished Strip.
"We call on the son of Palestine from all faction to put their nation's suffering above all other considerations," he said.
The Egyptian president also slammed Israel for cutting of fuel supplies to Gaza, saying the peace process "could not afford another failure." He added that Egypt would not all the residents of Gaza to starve or become victims to a humanitarian tragedy.