Egypt sends more troops to Gaza border

Egypt rules out reopening its border crossing with Gaza any time soon

Hundreds of Egyptian police and security forces were deployed in reinforcement along the border with Gaza late Tuesday, security officials told AP. Speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make statements, the officials said the reinforcements geared at preventing Palestinian infiltration to and from Gaza. Egypt rules out reopening its border crossing with Gaza any time soon, the official MENA news agency also reported Tuesday. MENA quoted Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit as saying that "those Palestinians who want to cross should use Kerem Shalom," referring to an Israeli-controlled border point. The remarks seem to indicate a toughening of Egypt's position against the radical Islamic Hamas movement that imposed it rule over Gaza. Earlier on Wednesday, Two explosions caused a large hole in the Gaza-Egypt border wall, witnesses reported, sending people rushing to the open crossing but causing no casualties. Hamas gunmen rushed to the scene to prevent Gazans from fleeing to Egypt and there were no immediate crossings reported. Several groups had issued threats in recent days about attacking the wall. Hamas confirmed two explosions took place but denied any hole was created in the wall between Gaza and Egypt. Some 4,000 Palestinians have been stranded in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula since the Egypt-Gaza border crossing was closed in early June. Fatah supports an Israeli proposal to reroute the stranded travelers through Kerem Shalom but Hamas rejects the idea. Egyptian officials are worried a Hamas-ruled Gaza on its borders could bolster Egypt's own banned Islamic opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, and spawn terror attacks. The Rafah terminal is operated by Egyptian and Palestinian security forces under the supervision of European Union monitors.