Report: Egypt, Saudi Arabia Urge Hamas to End Gaza Border Riots

Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza Strip border with Israel, east of Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
AP/Adel Hana

Both Saudi Arabia and Egypt have called on militant organization Hamas to end the annual weekly protests it is holding for the “Great March of Return,” according to an Egyptian source.

An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official was anonymously quoted as saying that, in exchange for halting the protests, Egypt would ensure that the Rafah border crossing, which Egypt controls, would be regularly opened. The source said that the agreement had come under the direction of the Saudis.

“The situation in the Gaza Strip is nearing an explosion towards anyone blockading it,” the source said, “and therefore there is a fear that Palestinian anger will turn towards Egypt in the coming weeks.”  The source also added that Saudi and Egyptian officials had opened contacts with Hamas leaders to urge calm in Gaza.

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