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Last Updated: Tuesday November 15 2005 11:42 GMT

Palestinians to open Gaza borders

A Palestinian policeman at Rafah

Palestinian and Israeli officials have reached a deal to open the borders of the Gaza strip, allowing Palestinians to trade with other countries.

The deal was set up with the help of top US diplomat Condoleezza Rice, who took part in negotiations.

It's the first time that Palestinians will have control of a border, and will let people cross from Gaza to Egypt.

The deal also lets Gaza set up a sea port, and paves the way for talks on building an airport.

Most importantly, people in Gaza will be able to export things grown on farms in the 2005 harvest.

That means they can start to support themselves and take part in international trade.

Reports say the deal also means that Israelis and Palestinians will watch the crossing at Rafah on CCTV cameras.


It's hoped that the border will open in 10 days time, allowing people over in buses.

Ms Rice said the agreement "shows that progress continues", adding that it would change the lives of people on both sides for the better.