GAZA, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Hamas supporters on Monday gathered on the Palestinian side of Gaza's southern border with Egypt, protesting an underground barrier Egypt is building.
The demonstrators chanted slogans calling for a lift to an Israeli blockade imposed more than two years ago and urged Egypt to stop building the steel wall.
The wall would curb a network of underground tunnels the Palestinians use to bring in a wide variety of goods and products that Israel doesn't allow into Gaza markets due to the closure of the commercial crossings with Israel.
Policemen from Hamas, which took over Gaza by force in June 2007, deployed on the borders to prevent the crowds from getting closer to the fence where Egyptian drilling trucks and bulldozers were operating behind.
On the other side of the frontier, Egyptian security forces were seen getting on alert. Over the past couple of days, the Egyptian digging bulldozers came under fire from the Palestinian side.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, described the barrier as "the steel death wall," saying his movement finds no justification for its construction.
"The religious, national and humanitarian morals are against strangling a Muslim, Arab people in this way," Abu Zuhri said, rejecting the West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's remarks that the wall was an internal Egyptian affair.