The Hamas government in Gaza on Wednesday voiced its rejection to use the Erez crossing with Israel as an alternative to the Rafah terminal with Egypt after the latter was shut down following a deadly attack.
"The Palestinians can never accept the Erez crossing, which is under Israel's security control, as an alternative to the Rafah crossing," Ghazi Hammad, Hamas deputy foreign minister told a news conference in Gaza.
He noted that more than 90 percent of the Gaza population can not travel through Erez due to the tight security control Israel imposed on the Palestinian enclave after Hamas seized it from its rival Fatah in June 2007.
Earlier Wednesday, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the West Bank confirmed they had held contacts with Israeli authorities on easing restrictions at Erez for Gaza travelers, since Egypt closed Rafah following a bloody attack on its army in northern Sinai, which killed 26 recruits.
However, Ma'roof Zahran, the top PNA liaison official, told Xinhua that the contacts with Israel are still going on "and Israel hasn't yet given us a positive response."
Hammad warned keeping Rafah closed would lead to "a serious humanitarian crisis," as hundreds of Palestinian patients and students are stranded at the crossing.