Choked off Palestinians Storm Egypt Border

Palestinians clashed with Egyptian police at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip on Wednesday when some of the Palestinians tried to force their way across, witnesses said.

Dozens of Palestinians from the territory, controlled by Hamas, pelted Egyptian border police with stones, injuring at least six of them, an Egyptian police source said.

Live television footage showed Egyptian forces firing water cannon and hurling rocks in response as they sealed the gates to the crossing, the only corridor between Gaza and Egypt.

Security sources said several thousand Palestinians had forced their way past the Palestinian border post and had then tried to break past the Egyptian border guards.

The border opened on Tuesday to let sick and injured Palestinians through, as well as Palestinians with residence or work permits in third countries, and to allow Palestinians to return to their homes from Egypt. Officials said then that they planned to keep it open for three days.

A security source said Egyptian authorities were now threatening to respond with a total closure.

A second security source said Egypt was moving truckloads of riot police to Rafah to reinforce the police presence there.

Hundreds of thousands of Gazans, subject to an Israeli blockade, crossed into Egypt in January to stock up on supplies after Hamas militants blew breaches in the border wall.
(Reuters via Alarabiya)

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