$15.00 donated in past month
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Palestine | International
Gazans flood through Egypt border
Tens of thousands of Palestinians have surged into Egypt from the Gaza Strip after masked militants destroyed parts of the border wall.
Gazans rushed to buy food, fuel and other supplies that have become scarce because of an Israeli blockade - aimed at stopping rocket attacks from Gaza.
Egyptian police took no action to stop people crossing.
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak says he allowed Gazans in to buy food, but Israel urged Egypt to restore security.
Correspondents say the breaching of the border is a security concern for Israel, as Egypt is a main source of weapons for the militant groups in Gaza.
UN: Some 350,000 Gazans stream into Egypt as militants blast border wall
By Barak Ravid, Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, and Yuval Azoulay, Haaretz Correspondents and News Agencies
Some 350,000 Palestinians poured out of Gaza and into Egypt early Wednesday, the United Nations said, after masked gunmen blew dozens of holes in the wall delineating the border.
The Gazans rushed to purchase food, fuel, and other supplies made scarce by Israel's blockade of the Strip, after militants detonated 17 bombs in the early morning hours, destroying some two-thirds of the metal wall separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt.
Hamas did not take responsibility for knocking the border wall down, but Hamas militants quickly took control of the frontier, as Egyptian border guards took no action.
Israel said in response to the chaos that it expects Egypt to solve the crisis.
The destruction of the border continued later Wednesday morning. Palestinians driving a Caterpillar bulldozer arrived at a point where the frontier is marked by a low concrete wall topped with barbed wire, tearing down the wall and opening a gap to allow easier access for cars.
Palestinians have breached the Egypt-Gaza border several times since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005. In the past, Egyptian security forces restored order after hours or days.
Hamas police channeled the crowds through two sections of the border, and inspected some bags, confiscating seven pistols carried by one man returning to Gaza.
Others walked unhindered over the toppled metal plates that once made up the border wall, carrying goats, chickens and crates of Coke. Some brought back televisions and car tires, and one man bought a motorcycle. Vendors sold soft drinks and baked goods to the crowds.