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Hamas Won’t Let Egypt Close Gaza Border

From a confused Reuters:

Hamas challenges Egypt’s bid to close Gaza border

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – Egypt started to close its breached border with the Gaza Strip on Friday but Palestinian militants bulldozed a new opening in a challenge to Cairo and Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run territory.

Palestinian crowds cheered as Hamas militants used a bulldozer to flatten sections of the chain and concrete fence. In a scene broadcast live on television around the world, Egyptian riot police watched from a distance as hundreds of people poured into Egypt…

Tensions flared at the border on Friday as some Palestinians in the crowd threw stones at Egyptian police, who responded with batons and water cannon.

“I have two brothers still inside Egypt. They should not close the border until everyone returns,” said one of the Palestinian stone throwers, 20-year-old Mohammed al-Masri.

Egyptian security forces told the crowd over loudspeakers that the border would close at 3 p.m. (8 a.m. EST), but a security source said orders had yet to be given to fully seal the area.

Hamas sources said the group decided to open a new section in the border fence to increase pressure on Egypt to give the militant group a say in how the border will be run in future

“We insist and urge our Egyptian brothers that there must be a mechanism to allow the passage of people and goods through the Rafah crossing in a legal and organized manner,” Hamas government spokesman Taher al-Nono said.

Since militants blew up the wall at Rafah, the border has been transformed into a giant open-air market, selling everything from goats to full size refrigerators.

One Palestinian bought a camel in the Egyptian coastal town of el-Arish for his wedding day and rode it all the way home to Gaza City, a distance of more than 80 km…

It is hard to believe that Egypt would not welcome its Palestinian brothers with open arms. Haven’t they been their darlings for at least seventy years?

Besides, aren’t we regularly told that a border fence will never keep anyone out?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 25th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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