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Palestinian Prime Minister Barred From Gaza


Israel has ordered the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip closed, leaving Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of the ruling Hamas group, stranded in Egypt.

Israeli officials say they closed the border to prevent Mr. Haniyeh from bringing tens of millions of dollars into the Gaza Strip.

After the closure, angry Hamas militants stormed the border terminal, firing guns and sending travelers running for cover. It is unclear when the border will re-open.

There are reports that Israel has decided to allow Mr. Haniyeh back into the Gaza Strip, but without the funds, apparently raised during a recent tour of Muslim countries. The reports have not been confirmed.

Mr. Haniyeh was rushing back to Gaza as tensions mounted between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Earlier Thursday, Fatah security forces in Gaza arrested a militant in the killings of three Palestinian children on Monday. The father of the children is a security official loyal to Mr. Abbas.

After the arrest, the group Popular Resistance Committees, allied with Hamas, said it abducted a security operative loyal to Mr. Abbas.

Fatah and Hamas are locked in a power struggle. Hamas won legislative elections in January. Fatah still controls the presidency.

The rival factions had been negotiating to form a unity government, but negotiations have stalled.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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