A Palestinian and an Egyptian policeman were killed in clashes on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Sunday as Palestinians attempted to seek safe haven on the other side of the breached wall.
Shortly beforehand, Israeli aircraft bombed smuggling tunnels in the area.
Clashes erupted between Palestinian gunmen and Egyptian security forces, while the Israeli military offensive on Gaza continued.
The 14-kilometer-long border was breached in four places but has since been resealed by the Egyptians.
Eyewitnesses told The Media Line that no Gazans managed to enter Egypt, and that as of Monday morning the border was “quiet and tense.”
Palestinians say the tunnels are a necessary lifeline for bringing in basic goods such as food into the Gaza Strip, while Israel is limiting imports through legal crossings.
But Israel maintains these tunnels are also used to bring in weapons, explosives and terrorists.
The border breach comes as Egypt is being lambasted in the Arab world for failing to extend help to Gazans.
Arabs are accusing Egypt of allowing the Israeli assault on Gaza to take place. Many believe it was greenlighted by Cairo when Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was visiting last week.
Palestinian sources say more than 300 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded since the operation began on Saturday.
The United Nations says at least 51 of those killed since Saturday are Palestinian civilians.
Israeli aircraft and naval forces struck dozens of Hamas-related targets overnight, including weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, posts, tunnels, launching pads and warehouses, the Israeli army said.
While the operation continues, Israel is allowing 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip. The aid is from Jordan, Turkey and international organizations and includes fuel, staple foods, medical drugs and cooking gas.
A Gazan resident told The Media Line he would probably not benefit from the aid, as most of it routinely goes to institutions such as hospitals.
“The simple man in the street can’t buy anything. We have no gas or electricity. Food and flour has run out and the markets are closed. We’re getting electricity six hours a day and the children are scared,” he said.
The Israeli assault is intended to end the continuing firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip onto Israel.
There were reports from Hamas and Cairo that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been wounded in the Israeli attack on Gaza.
Shalit has been held in captivity since his abduction on the Gaza border by three Palestinians armed groups, including Hamas, in June 2006.
Hamas is holding Shalit as a bargaining chip to secure the release of prisoners from Israeli jails, but Israel and Hamas have not managed to agree over details of such a release.
Hamas has not officially announced Shalit was injured and Jerusalem is not confirming the reports of Shalit’s injury.
Israel is speculating that these reports are part of Hamas’ psychological warfare.
More than 150 rockets and mortar shells have been launched onto Israel since the operation began.
One person was killed and 11 wounded when a missile landed on a construction site in Ashqelon on Monday morning. This is the second person to be killed in a missile attack on Israel since Saturday. Monday’s casualties were construction workers from the Bedouin town of Rahat in southern Israel.
The Israeli army’s Home Front is anticipating the range of missile attacks will grow and is distributing brochures with emergency procedures to residents of Beer Sheva, Yavneh and Gedera.
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