Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been pouring into Egypt from Gaza to buy supplies after gunmen destroyed part of a border wall this morning. Egyptian guards and police from the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, stood by without taking action. Dozens of women were injured on Tuesday as police cracked down on a demonstration at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza.
With dollars in their pockets, Gazans crossed over this morning to purchase basic goods such as milk, rice and fuel, that cost up to three times as much in Gaza. Supplies have been running out in the impoverished Palestinian territory since a crippling blockade by Israel five days ago.
Amid growing international concern at the worsening situation in Gaza, Israel started easing the embargo on Tuesday by transferring fuel to restart the Strip’s only power plant. Hamas has backed the partial destruction of the wall by suspected Palestinian gunmen – the militant group appears to be applying pressure on Egypt, which has cooperated with Israel’s blockade by keeping the Rafah border crossing shut.