Hours after Israel’s detention of Ismail Haniyeh sparked riots at the Rafah border crossing in Gaza the Palestinian Prime Minister was allowed to return to the Strip.
But the Hamas leader was not allowed to re-enter with money donated by Muslim nations during a fund-raising tour. Palestinians vented their anger on the Palestinian side of the frontier with Egypt. Haniyeh had hoped to return with 35 million dollars – around 27 million euros – in two suitcases.
It is reported Hamas officials may hand the money over to the Arab League in Cairo. In the past it has transferred funds only to the offices of moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Such a move would likely be more acceptable to Israel, which along with the US and the EU, has imposed economic sanctions on the Hamas government over its declared aim of destroying Israel. The incident has once again fuelled tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.