Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Egypt deploys along Gaza Strip border fearing militant breakout
"Egypt has begun deploying hundreds more police to strengthen security at its border with the Gaza Strip over fears Palestinian militants could try to storm it, security sources said on Wednesday.
The deployment began late on Tuesday, and the sources said additional Egyptian security forces had already taken up positions along the border north of the Rafah crossing to reinforce the existing 750 border police.
A security source said that a demonstration on Tuesday by dozens of Palestinians demanding the crossing be opened had increased Egyptian government fears it could be stormed or parts of the cement wall torn down.
Thousands of Palestinians have been stranded in Egypt by the closure of the Rafah crossing.
Palestinian authorities technically control the crossing, but it can be blocked by Israel. Rafah was closed on June 9 and has remained closed since Hamas Islamist forces took over the Gaza Strip days later.
Last summer, Hamas gunmen blew a six-metre (20 foot) hole in the Gaza-Egypt border wall, allowing nearly 1,000 stranded Palestinians to cross home during a border closure......."