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Gazans make new border wall hole
by BBC (reposted)
Friday Jan 25th, 2008 7:50 AM
Friday, January 25, 2008 : Palestinians bulldoze a new hole in the Gaza-Egypt border wall, in spite of Egyptian attempts to reseal it.
Bulldozer at Gaza-Egypt border Guards with riot shields stood by as Palestinians swarmed through the newly-demolished concrete barrier.

Hundreds of thousands have surged into Egypt to buy supplies since the first breaches were made on Wednesday.

Egypt earlier said it was closing the border and had sent in extra troops to drive back the Palestinians.

The Islamist movement Hamas, which controls Gaza, said it supported Egypt's decision to close the border.

Israel has demanded Egypt take action, as it is worried about arms smuggling.

The UN has estimated that as much as half of Gaza's 1.5 million population has crossed the border in defiance of the Israeli blockade imposed in retaliation for rocket attacks.

Barbed wire

The large yellow bulldozer was driven to the border from the Gaza side, ploughing headlong into the border fence.

The BBC's Ian Pannell at the border says Egyptian security forces seem to have given up their efforts to stop the Palestinians streaming through.

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§Violence erupts at Gaza border
by Al Jazeera (reposted) Friday Jan 25th, 2008 7:52 AM
Friday, January 25, 2008 : Gazans defy Egypt closure deadline with new border breaches.

The Egyptian government wants to make it clear that the crossing will soon be closed [AFP]

Egyptian guards with riot shields have formed human chains along the Egypt-Gaza border, but were unable to stop hundreds of Palestinians from rushing into Egypt after a bulldozer wrecked another section of fence along the frontier.

Men in black clothing, some of them masked, stood atop the bulldozer as it knocked down a concrete slab on Friday under the watchful eyes of Egyptian forces on the other side who shot in the air in an attempt to hinder the flow of Gazans into Egypt.

Thousands of Palestinians, many of them carrying empty fuel canisters, managed to push through several openings despite the presence of the Egyptians deployed nine rows deep in some places.

At one point, guards aimed a water cannon above the heads of people, not at them, to keep them back.

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Hamas vowed Friday to keep breaches in the Gaza-Egypt border wall open until crossings into the Strip are reopened, as six Egyptian police officers were lightly hurt in an attempt to reseal the border.

"The gaps shouldn't be closed because they provide urgent assistance to the Palestinians, said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

Hundreds of Palestinians rushed into Egypt on Friday after Hamas militants used a bulldozer knocked over a new section of the Gaza border wall.

by Associated Press
Friday Jan 25th, 2008 9:20 AM
Israel Says It Wants No Ties with Gaza

Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said Thursday that Israel wants to relinquish all responsibility for the Gaza Strip, including the supply of electricity and water, now that the territory's southern border with Egypt has been opened. "We need to understand that when Gaza is open to the other side we lose responsibility for it. So we want to disconnect from it." (AP)

Egypt Won't Take Control of Gaza

Hossam Zaki, the official spokesman for Egypt's foreign ministry, said Thursday of Israeli hints that it was thinking of giving up all responsibility for Gaza now that its border with Egypt is open: "This is a wrong assumption." "The current situation is only an exception and for temporary reasons," Zaki said. "The border will go back to normal." (Jerusalem Post)