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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Egypt Gaza border patrol agreed
Israeli soldiers patrolling the Philadelphi route
There is currently a heavy Israeli troop presence on the Egypt-Gaza border
Israel and Egypt have finalised a deal under which Egyptian border guards will patrol the southern Gaza border.

Gen Amos Gilad told Israeli radio the agreement would be signed after it was approved by the government and Knesset.

Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz has said all Israeli soldiers will be out of the Gaza Strip within a month, completing the disengagement plan.

But Mr Mofaz warned that it was too soon to expect further withdrawals in the West Bank.

For his part, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he expected Israel forces to leave Gaza by 4 October, or sooner.

Border agreement

Agreement was reached in principle on 1 August, but differences over Egypt's responsibility towards Gaza have only now been resolved.

It came two days after the eviction of Jewish settlers from Gaza ended.

All of the 8,500 or so settlers were removed in a six-day operation completed on Monday.

Areas along the Gaza-Israel border have been the focus of fierce fighting throughout almost five years of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Later on Wednesday, Mr Abbas will meet President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

They are due to discuss getting Israeli agreement for air, sea and land links from the Gaza Strip.

Mr Abbas arrived in Egypt on Tuesday through the territory's only international border crossing.

Minute detail

Gen Gilad said both sides had reached a "very detailed agreement down to the last pistol".

Some 750 Egyptian troops will patrol the border after Israel pulls soldiers out of the area, scene of frequent clashes with militants.

Israel has insisted for months that Egypt must boost its security presence at the border, along the so-called "Philadelphi route" buffer zone that divides Gaza from Egypt.

The deal came after Egypt promised not to transfer weapons to the Palestinian Authority after the pullout.




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