Egyptian forces fail to stop Gazans from crossing the border
Egyptian guards with riot shields formed human chains along the Egypt-Gaza Strip border Friday, but were unable to stop hundreds of Palestinians from crossing into Egypt after a bulldozer wrecked another section of fence along the frontier. 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, the AP reported.
Cranes were positioned next to the border, lifting crates of supplies over into Gaza Strip.
Egyptian forces took up positions a few steps into Palestinian territory, using shields to protect themselves from some Gazans who climbed atop car roofs and threw stones at them. Witnesses said a photographer was lightly injured in the clash. Meanwhile, a security source said an Egyptian border guard had been lightly wounded when he was hit in the foot by a Palestinian bullet and transferred to hospital.
Travelers returning from Egypt said they heard loudspeaker announcements there that Gazans had to return home by 7 p.m. Friday.
In an interview published Friday in the weekly Al-Osboa, President Hosni Mubarak called the situation in Gaza "unacceptable" and called on Israel to "lift its siege" and "solve the problem."