Egyptian officials rule out any possibility for Fatah and Hamas to resume talks soon, the state-owned news agency said Tuesday as Egyptian security forces deployed reinforcements along the border with the Gaza Strip.The Egyptian comments came after a delegation representing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Cairo to coordinate how Egypt and Abbas’ government would deal with Hamas after the militant movement seized the Gaza Strip last month.
“The current climate in the Palestinian arena does not permit resumption of the dialogue between Fatah and Hamas now,” the state-owned Middle East News Agency quoted an unidentified Egyptian official as saying.
The official said the Palestinian delegation had “fruitful and useful talks” with Egypt’s powerful intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Egyptian police and security forces were deployed in reinforcement along the border with Gaza late Tuesday, security officials told AP.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make statements, the officials said the reinforcements geared at preventing Palestinian infiltration to and from Gaza.
Egypt rules out reopening its border crossing with Gaza any time soon, the official MENA news agency also reported Tuesday.
MENA quoted Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit as saying that “those Palestinians who want to cross should use Kerem Shalom,” referring to an Israeli-controlled border point.
The remarks seem to indicate a toughening of Egypt’s position against the radical Islamic Hamas movement that imposed it rule over Gaza.
Some 4,000 Palestinians have been stranded in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula since the Egypt-Gaza border crossing was closed in early June.
Fatah supports an Israeli proposal to reroute the stranded travelers through Kerem Shalom but Hamas rejects the idea.
Egyptian officials are worried a Hamas-ruled Gaza on its borders could bolster Egypt’s own banned Islamic opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, and spawn terror attacks.
The Rafah terminal is operated by Egyptian and Palestinian security forces under the supervision of European Union monitors.