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Sunday, October 24, 1999 Published at 22:54 GMT 23:54 UK

World: Middle East

Palestinian territories linked by road

The Palestinian-controlled territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are due to be physically linked for the first time since Israeli occupation Monday morning 0800 GMT when a forty-kilometre road corridor between the two areas is opened.

The Israeli army said more than two-thousand permits had been issued to Palestinians for the safe passage corridor, which will traverse Israel between the Erez border crossing at the northern edge of the Gaza Strip and the Turkumiya junction in the south of the West Bank.

The route was to have been opened on October 3rd under the Sharm el-Sheikh interim peace accord signed in September, but security and technical hitches caused a delay.

Correspondents say the road link is an important symbol for the Palestinians in their quest for full statehood.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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