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Egypt Blocks Vehicles from Gaza as Border Talks Set in Cairo


Egyptian border guards are blocking access to Palestinian vehicles from the Gaza Strip, to try to slow the flow of people through a broken boundary.

Pedestrians are still passing into the Egyptian town of Rafah, and Egyptian-registered vehicles loaded with merchandise are being allowed to move in both directions.

Thousands of Palestinians have passed into Rafah since Hamas militants blew holes in the barrier last week. An Israeli blockade on Gaza has deprived Palestinians of basic necessities, driving them into Egypt to shop for supplies.

In Cairo Thursday, Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal is expected to discuss the border crisis with Egyptian officials. The militant group seized control of Gaza from its rival, Fatah, last June. Hamas says it wants to manage part of the border crossings.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the situation with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday.

Mr. Abbas said the Palestinian Authority should take over Gaza crossings with Egypt and Israel.

Earlier today, the Israeli army said soldiers shot and killed an armed Palestinian in the southern Gaza Strip. A spokesman said the man was shot as he approached the border with Israel with an assault rifle.

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

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