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Egyptian Forces Struggle to Reseal Gaza Border


Egyptian soldiers are trying to reseal a breached border with the Gaza Strip, but Hamas militants say they will continue to block the efforts.

Egyptian forces laid down metal barriers across several breaches in the Rafah border crossing Friday. They are trying to stop Palestinians who have been crossing over since Hamas militants broke through the boundary last week.

Militants used bulldozers to tear down the barriers Friday, and hundreds of people demonstrated to demand the border remain open.

Gaza is under an Israeli blockade, and Palestinians are worried they will not be able to buy supplies in Egypt if the border is resealed.

In Cairo this week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to discuss the border crisis. Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal held separate talks with Egyptian officials Thursday and Friday.

Hamas says it wants to manage some of the crossings. Mr. Abbas says the Palestinian Authority should take over Gaza crossings with Egypt and Israel.

Earlier Friday, Hamas freed a senior advisor to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Hamas forces had arrested Omar al-Ghoul at his home in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in December.

Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip last June in fighting with the Palestinian Fatah party.

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

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