Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Why do international students choose Paris?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

UK coalition split on 'English votes for English laws'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French firms aim to crack 'big data' market

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French papers react to Sarkozy's TV return

Read more

#TECH 24

Anonymous ‘declare cyber war’ on IS militants

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Activists launch 'Blood Bucket Challenge'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Brazil's presidential election seen from the web

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Tribes revolt in New Caledonia and students rebuild homes in Libya

Read more

Egypt begins to seal Gaza border

Latest update : 2008-01-25

Egyptian forces fired water cannons at Palestinians trying to force their way across the border from Gaza amid US pressure on Cairo to secure its borders with the Palestinian territories.

RAFAH, Egypt, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Egyptian forces fired water
cannons at Palestinians trying to force their way across the
Gaza-Egypt border on Friday and warned over loudspeakers the
border would close at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), witnesses said.
 

But security sources said Egyptian forces still did not have
direct orders to fully close the border at any specific time,
and a similar announcement made by loudspeakers on Thursday
evening to close the border had not been carried out.
 

"Palestinian brothers, quickly return to the border. The
border will close at 3 p.m.," police announced on a loudspeaker
mounted to a car at the border. Similar announcements were being
made by loudspeaker in the coastal town of el-Arish.
 

Security sources said Egyptian security men were trying to
block Palestinians from entering at all, apart from one border
point in Rafah, two days after Palestinians blasted open the
border in defiance of an Israeli blockade.
 

The sources said Egypt had closed back roads that
Palestinians were using after entering at other spots along the
border, and were also trying to stop Palestinians from reaching
el-Arish.
 

Egyptian forces began placing barbed wire near the collapsed
steel border wall early on Friday, and witnesses said
Palestinians threw stones at Egyptian forces, who responded by
beating some Palestinians with clubs and firing several shots
into the air.
 

Security forces were allowing Palestinians to exit Egypt
from any point along the border line. Witnesses said some 40
truckloads of security men had been sent to el-Arish and were
awaiting orders to deploy at the border.
 

Israel, which says its blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza is
intended to counter rocket fire by militants, has said it wanted
to cut its links with the coastal strip by handing the supply of
electricity, water and medicine to others.
 

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it was up to
Egypt to ensure the security of its border with Gaza, and
Washington said it was willing to work with Egyptian authorities
to restore order but did not give details.
 

Israel occupied Gaza in the 1967 Middle East war but pulled
troops and settlers out in 2005, although it still controls the
strip's northern and eastern borders, airspace and coastal
waters.

Date created : 2008-01-25

COMMENT(S)