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Thousands of Palestinians made their way from the Gaza Strip
Thousands of Palestinians made their way from the Gaza Strip into Egypt on Wednesday after militants partially destroyed a wall on the Gaza-Egypt border.

Palestinian insurgents blew holes in the wall on Wednesday morning, as Israel's blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip entered its sixth day. The decision to impose the blockade of fuel and goods was taken following almost daily rocket attacks on Israeli border communities by insurgents based in the enclave.

"There are lots of people here going to and from Egypt, loaded down with all kinds of things. The Egyptians have not intervened apart from to organize the flow of people. There is an atmosphere of general jubilation," an eyewitness told a RIA Novosti correspondent at the scene.

Egyptian border guards were not reported to be stopping people from crossing into Egypt.

The radical Islamic group Hamas did not claim responsibility for the wall's partial destruction, but said in a statement that the act was a reflection of the "catastrophic situation which the Palestinian people in Gaza are living through due to the blockade."

Hamas seized control of the enclave, with a population of 1.5 million, from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement in June.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Palestinian spokesman for Hamas, urged Egyptian authorities to take the border under their own control without regard for the wishes of Israel. Under international agreements, the opening of the Gaza-Egypt border crossing can only be sanctioned by Israel with the participation of European Union observers.

Wednesday's events came after Egyptian border guards had fired into the air on Tuesday to restore control over the border crossing after Palestinian protestors had pushed their way into the country.

The Gaza Strip's sole power generating plant resumed operations on Tuesday after Israel eased its blockade of the enclave for a day to allow fuel in, a plant spokesman said.

International criticism of the blockade has been widespread, with UN officials saying that Israel was imposing "collective punishment" on Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had earlier stated that life would not be "pleasant or comfortable" for those in Gaza if rocket attacks on Israel continued.


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