Two Palestinians shot dead as Rafah crossing reopened
Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian who tried to plant a bomb near a Gaza Strip settlement, Israeli reports indicated Friday. Israeli soldiers opened fire on two Palestinians who approached the settlement of "Atzmona" late on Tursday. In the morning, the body of one Palestinian with a bomb nearby was found by Israeli troops, the repotrs said.
Elsewhere, near the West Bank town of Salfit, Israeli troops killed Friday another Palestinian. Israeli sources said the man was a well known Hamas activist.
Meanwhile, Israel reopened the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip on Friday, allowing some 1,500 Palestinians to head home after being stranded for three weeks.
The first busload of Palestinians crossed from Egypt into Gaza early Friday, Palestinians said. The Israeli army confirmed it had reopened the border crossing, The AP said.
Israel closed the international border crossing between on July 19. During the closure period, occupation troops conducted thorough searches in the region to find weapons smuggling tunnels but no tunnel was uncovered.
Hundreds of Palestinians who were trying to get home through Egypt were stranded in the desert facing severe hardships, including food shortages. Egypt warned this week of a humanitarian crisis.
During the period the border has been closed, several pregnant women have miscarried. The Egyptian Red Crescent has been providing tents and food, with about 200-250 people in a tent. (albawaba.com)
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