Thousands of Gazans on Saturday continued to cross into Egypt to stock up on supplies four days after gunmen blew the border barrier in an effort to break a punishing Israeli blockade. For the first time, hundreds of vehicles crossed into Egyptian territory overnight after bulldozers gouged two new breaches in the border wall as security forces failed to stem the human flow into the Sinai peninsula.
Reports said Egyptian security forces have pulled back from the border after their failure to reseal it on Friday. No Egyptian soldiers were visible at the border, Reuters reported on Saturday. An Egyptian security source said forces had received orders from Cairo to pull back and avoid confronting Palestinians. On Friday, Egyptian forces placed barbed wire and chain-link fences to stop more people crossing.
Egyptian state news agency MENA late Friday conveyed 22 Egyptian security men were wounded while trying to contain the crowd. Egyptian security sources at the border said seven security men were injured, 6 by stones and one shot in the foot.