Special report: Palestine-Israel
Egyptian anti-riot policemen stand alert at the breached border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip in the border town of Rafah, Jan. 28, 2008. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
GAZA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian security forces started to impose its control on the border with Gaza Strip by closing the breaches that Hamas militants blew up a week ago, witnesses said on Tuesday.
The Egyptian border forces have walled up 11 breaches
in the 15-km-long concrete fence separating the Gaza Strip and Egypt in southern
Gaza town of Rafah, but there are still two holes remained open to allow both
Egyptians and Palestinians to cross back home.
Over the past six days, the Gazans crossed freely
into Egypt's Sinai Peninsular, mainly al-Arish town that is 40 km away from
Rafah, and bought anything they could reach.
After shops and stores in al-Arish is depleting
stocks, the Egyptian Central Security personnel cut off goods supplies from
Egypt to Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish and ordered shutdown of all
The security procedures along with the rainy weather
lessened the movement of Gazans throughout the border and helped the Egyptian
security to gradually seal off the border.
However, in front of Northern Sinai Governorate, up
to 100 Gazans still continued their sit-in protest for the sixth consecutive
day, demanding official stamps on their passports to allow them to make further
travel to Cairo and the outside world.
The demonstrators were mainly patients, students and
citizens of foreign countries who have been stranded in Gaza since the borders
were closed in June, 2007.
The border tumult occurred as the hope for lifting the Israeli siege dashed after Israel further tightened the blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza.