RAFAH, Gaza Strip:(3/2/2008): Egyptian and Hamas forces closed the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Sunday, nearly two weeks after militants blew open the frontier amid an Israeli blockade, witnesses said.
One gate remained open to allow Palestinians to return to Gaza and Egyptians to return home, they said. Other than people returning home, no pedestrians or vehicles were being allowed to cross.
Hardline senior Hamas leader Mahmud al-Zahar said on Saturday his movement will work with Cairo to gradually bring order to the breached border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
"We will work towards controlling the border between us and Egypt … This has to be done gradually," Zahar told reporters as he crossed back into Gaza after two days of talks with officials in Cairo.
"We have concluded an agreement between us and our brothers in Egypt to operate channels at the local level at the crossing and along the border and we will implement it tomorrow after we meet with the (Hamas-run) government."
Hundreds of thousands of people have streamed across the border since January 23, when Palestinian militants blew open and bulldozed large sections of the barrier wall after a near week-long Israeli lockdown of the territory.