CBNNews.com - Six days after tens of thousands of Gaza-based Palestinians crossed into Egypt through the breached barrier at the Rafah border crossing, an estimated 10,000 remain in the Sinai.
Included in that number are some 300 to 500 gunmen, most affiliated with Hamas or Islamic Jihad, who refuse to return to the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Authority (PA) officials in Ramallah told Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh that some of the gunmen were staying with Bedouins and others with Egyptian families in the Sinai.
According to the PA officials, Hamas and other terror cell members have transported huge caches of explosives and weapons in the past six days.
Hamas members reportedly attempted to raise Palestinian and Hamas flags atop Egyptian government buildings in Rafah and el-Arish.
Egyptian parliamentarian Hassan Issa said Hamas has crossed the red lines.
"Hamas has violated our sovereignty and this is totally unacceptable," Issa said. "This move poses a real threat to Egypt's national security," he said.
On Wednesday, a Hamas delegation, led by Damascus-based Khaled Mashaal, is meeting with Egyptian government officials in Cairo to discuss the breached border.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will also travel to Cairo Wednesday, though he will not meet with the Hamas delegation, according to his aides.
Meetings will focus on which of the Palestinian factions, Fatah or Hamas, will control the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing.
Egypt would like to see Fatah-affiliated forces, while Hamas opposes either Fatah or an international force at the border.
In a week of bloody fighting last June, Hamas defeated the PA's Fatah forces and took over control of the Strip, including the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing.
Source: The Jerusalem Post