Scuffles have broken out at Gaza’s border with Egypt after orders were issued to close the frontier. Palestinians trying to break through are now confronted with about 1500 police officers and soldiers. After days of chaos that has seen thousands of people make the journey to the other side Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the border be sealed.
Hamas militants had further added to the confusion by blasting through a section of the concrete barrier separating the territory from Egypt after Israel withdrew from Gaza. have streamed across relatively freely to see relatives, buy cheap goods or just out of curiosity without having to undergo security checks.
There is also serious concern Palestinian militants have been smuggling in weapons; the crossing is Gaza’s only outlet to the world that avoids Israel. Israel fears armed factions like the group Hamas could eventually seize control of the territory. Now with the strict orders to secure the border, it is believed Egyptians and Palestinians will be allowed to return home but only once they have had their identity papers checked.