Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as they approached the border fence on Saturday, a Palestinian group said. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed soldiers opened fire on two men near the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya. "They were planting an explosive device near the fence," she said, according to Reuters.
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an arm of Fatah faction, said two of its members were killed while trying to fire mortars into Israel.
Meanwhile, Israel has agreed to allow at least 627 Palestinians who have been stranded in Egypt for weeks to pass into the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said Saturday. Around 6,000 Palestinians who have been waiting in the Egyptian border town of Rafah will be allowed to pass through Israel and into Gaza at the beginning of next week, said Palestinian Information Minister Riad Maliki.
Israel has approved a list of 627 Palestinians who will be allowed to cross, said Hani Jabbour, a Palestinian security coordinator stationed the Egyptian side of Rafah. On Sunday, 100 will cross and the rest will pass on Monday, Jabbour said, according to the AP. Further transfers through such a route are expected in the future, Jabbour said.
The Palestinians have been unable to return to Gaza because the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the coastal strip has been closed since June 9.