Wednesday, June 20, 2007


EREZ CROSSING, Gaza Strip - Trapped by Israeli tanks and Hamas gunmen, hundreds of terrified Palestinians holed up in a stench-filled concrete tunnel at a border crossing yesterday, desperate to flee the Islamic militants now ruling the Gaza Strip.
Israel took in two people hit by Hamas gunfire, 24 hours after they were wounded in an assault on the tunnel, but officials remained steadfast in rejecting pleas to throw open the border. Three people wounded in the Gaza fighting last week also were allowed into Israel.

Israeli officials permitted a food shipment into Gaza for the first time since Hamas seized control in five days of fighting with the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. That eased concerns about a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished coastal territory.

Israel let about 50 senior Fatah officials and their families cross to the West Bank from Gaza over the weekend, citing threats to their safety. Some 200 other Fatah officials are in Egypt, trying to reach the West Bank via Jordan, Fatah officials said. While Hamas declared a general amnesty for Fatah fighters shortly after its victory in Gaza, frightened civilians and security officers have not been reassured. Hamas checkpoints have been set up on the road to Erez to arrest fighters trying to leave.

This flight into Israel by those dedicated to eliminating the Jewish state, and who spend their time trying to kill Israelis and demonizing them, though they know, in the end, that the Israelis are not the demons they paint them but far milder (always and everywhere) than their fellow Muslim Arabs, also took place more than 30 years ago, during the fighting between Black September and the Jordanian army.

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