Alexa

Palestinians breach Egypt border fence

 Egyptian border police are seen at the Egyptian border crossing, as smoke rises during an Israeli air strike along the Egyptian border with Gaza, in ...
 Egyptian border police look at the smoke rising during an Israeli air strike that hit along the Egyptian border with Gaza seen from the Egyptian bord...
 Journalists run for cover at the Egyptian border crossing, as an Israeli air strike hits along the Egyptian border with Gaza in Rafah, Egypt Sunday, ...

Mideast Egypt Gaza Border

Egyptian border police are seen at the Egyptian border crossing, as smoke rises during an Israeli air strike along the Egyptian border with Gaza, in ...

Mideast Egypt Gaza Border

Egyptian border police look at the smoke rising during an Israeli air strike that hit along the Egyptian border with Gaza seen from the Egyptian bord...

Mideast Egypt Gaza Border

Journalists run for cover at the Egyptian border crossing, as an Israeli air strike hits along the Egyptian border with Gaza in Rafah, Egypt Sunday, ...

Palestinians breached the border fence with Egypt in several places and hundreds have crossed the frontier prompting clashes with Egyptian border guards, said officials and witnesses on both sides of the border.
An Egyptian security official said there were at least four breaches along the 9 mile (14 kilometer) border and hundreds of Palestinian residents were pouring in. Another official said Palestinian gunmen have taken control of four border checkpoints previously controlled by Egyptian security.
The breach came shortly after Israeli aircraft struck the smuggling tunnels running underneath the border, targeting one of the lifelines of the territory's Hamas rulers.
At least 300 Egyptian border guards have been rushed to the area to reseal the border, the Egyptian official added on condition on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
A witness on the Gaza side of the border, Fida Kishta, said residents detonated a land mine along the border and commandeered a bulldozer to create more breaches.
"There was a loud bang and then we saw the smoke, and then people began heading toward Egypt, we counted them in the hundreds. Everyone in the area started crossing through," she said.
The official on the Egyptian side said the wall between Gaza and Egypt at the Barahmeh neighborhood was brought down during the airstrike and the subsequent large explosion from an underground fuel pipe.
"Hundreds of women, children and men went through the breach," the official said speaking on condition of anonymity. He added that there was firing in the air from both sides as people attempted to cross the border. Palestinians also threw stones at the Egyptian security. The official added that Egyptian security had pulled back ahead of the airstrikes.
He later said Palestinians and Egyptian security clashed heavily along the border.
Tear gas was also used extensively by the Egyptian security, the official said, to keep people away from the breaches, keeping many Rafah residents indoors.
At one segment along the border, a small fire burned after Palestinians threw molotov cocktails.
Palestinians reported that two people were killed and 18 wounded in the air strikes and another five were wounded in the ensuing exchange of gunfire with Egyptian security.
Dr. Abdel Qader Higazi, a representative of the Egyptian Doctor's Syndicate in Rafah said Egyptian authorities closed the border crossing after allowing several trucks of medical supplies into Gaza.
Smugglers have dug dozens of tunnels in recent years. Weapons and commercial goods are brought in through the passageways.
Gaza has been under Israeli and Egyptian blockade since a violent Hamas takeover in June 2007. The tunnels have helped Hamas stay in power by relieving shortages.
____
Associated Press Writers Diaa Hadid contributed to this report from Jerusalem and Sarah El Deeb and Omar Sinan from Cairo, Egypt.


Updated : 2021-03-05 05:01 GMT+08:00