Hundreds of Gaza Arabs lined up at the Rafiah border Wednesday morning and tried to break through the border fence. The mob threw rocks at Egyptian forces which held their ground and blocked the attempt to cross.
Egypt has agreed to open up the border for two days, the first time in almost a year that officials have allowed passage. Terrorists have bombed the border barrier at least twice in the past, allowing a stampede of citizens and terrorists to overrun Egyptian authorities.
Fifty Gazans in ambulances crossed into Egypt early Wednesday morning for medical treatment.
In the wake of terrorist attacks, Israel closed the Sufa, Karni, Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings thereby halting the flow of some supplies into Gaza. But, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the crossings to be reopened following a two-day period in which Arab terrorists did not attack Israel with rockets or mortar shells.
Egypt has not stopped the use of Rafiah as a conduit for a flow of weapons, explosives and drugs into Gaza through smuggling tunnels. Egypt fears that opening the Rafiah border on a permanent basis would induce a steady stream of people wanting to flee Gaza and reside in Egypt or use the country to stage terrorist attacks on tourists in the Sinai Peninsula and on Israel.
Hamas has conditioned re-opening the border as a basis for freeing kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Officially, the border cannot be re-opened without Israeli approval because the Jewish state issues security clearance for European Union (EU) monitors at the terminal. However, the Olmert administration has not exercised the condition.