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Gaza Palestinians Cross into Egypt for Fourth Day

  • VOA News

The scene at the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt remains chaotic, as thousands of Palestinians crossed into Egypt on Saturday for a fourth day since militants destroyed a border barricade.

Hundreds of vehicles also crossed into Egypt, after Palestinian militants used a bulldozer to open a new section of the barrier.

Hamas gunmen are in control on Egypt's side of the border, where border guards and police are standing back. Egypt says about 40 of its security forces have been injured since Gaza militants blew up part of the barrier Wednesday.

Egypt has invited representatives from the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah come to Cairo for talks on resolving the border crisis.

Hamas accepted the offer. But the head of Fatah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, reiterated today he would not resume contacts with Hamas until the group gives up control of Gaza.
Hamas used force to seize control of Gaza in June from Fatah.

Palestinian officials say Mr. Abbas will ask Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert if his Fatah security forces can deploy on the Gaza-Egypt border, when the two leaders meet Sunday as planned.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have crossed the border to buy goods made scarce by a blockade Israel imposed on the Gaza Strip last week in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel.

Hundreds of Israeli peace activists and Israeli Arabs demonstrated today at the Gaza border, demanding an end to the blockade.

Separately, Israeli police shot and wounded a Palestinian man who stabbed an Israeli border policeman at a checkpoint in the West Bank.

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