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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 12:35 GMT
Fresh efforts to seal Gaza border
Gaza-Egypt border
Gazans have continued to pour across the punctured border wall
Egypt has started choking off supplies to its border zone with Gaza in an attempt to discourage Palestinians from pouring into the area, reports say.

The people of Gaza have been crossing freely into Egypt for a sixth day after militants destroyed the border wall.

Security forces have been powerless to prevent the flow of people stocking up on food and fuel supplies amid an Israeli blockade.

Israel says it will begin allowing some supplies back to Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Reports say Egyptian lorries are being prevented from entering the Sinai peninsula, as well as being stopped at checkpoints outside the town of Rafah, which straddles the perforated border.

Meanwhile, Israeli tankers carrying fuel intended for Gaza's one power station are reported to have arrived at the Karni crossing point, and are waiting to cross.

The Israelis say they are in talks with Egypt on how to reseal the Egyptian-Gaza border, which - until last week - had been mostly closed since the militant Hamas movement seized control of Gaza last June.

The embargo has caused power cuts and food shortages in Gaza, which is home to about 1.5m Palestinians.

17 January: Israel seals border following rise in rocket attacks
20 January: Gaza's only power plant shuts down
22 January: Israel eases restrictions
22 January: Egyptian border guards disperse Palestinian protest against closure
23 January: Border wall breached

On the Gazan side, Hamas security guards have been deployed and are stopping civilian cars from entering Egypt.

However, trucks carrying supplies into the coastal strip are being allowed to cross, as well as pedestrians.

There is no confirmation that Hamas and the Egyptian authorities are working together to seal the border and end the chaos of the last week.

However, reports from Rafah's Brazil gate say Egyptian security forces and Hamas militants have strung barbed wire across one of the breaches, while at Salah Eddin gate the two sides worked together to control traffic.

Correspondents say Egypt wants to restore shared control of its 13-kilometre (eight-mile) border with Gaza between the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and European Union monitors.

Hamas, which overthrew the Palestinian Authority dominated by the rival Fatah party in June, has described the old system as "history".

Israel began tightening its blockade of the Gaza Strip after an increase in rocket attacks by militants targeting its communities near the border.

Gaza map

Troops attempt to rebuild the border wall

Fresh efforts to seal Gaza border
28 Jan 08 |  Middle East

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