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Egypt starts to rebuild Gaza border fences
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Egyptian security forces on Monday started to rebuild fences at the border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip, the pan-Arab satellite television al-Jazeera reported.

Egyptian soldiers close part of a destroyed section of the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt January 28, 2008.

Barbed wire was erected by Egyptian security forces at two gaps blown up by Hamas on January 23 along Rafah crossing, which allowed hundreds of thousands of Gazans to enter the Egyptian side to stock up foods, fuel and other basic needs.

Hamas fighters stood by and did not interfere with Egyptian forces' efforts to patch up the frontier barrier, while hundreds of Palestinians managed to cross through other breaches under joint Hamas and Egyptian guard.

The border is expected to be closed within the next 24 hours as Egypt was exerting efforts to stem the flow of goods to the border area, the report added.

An Egyptian soldier closes part of a destroyed section of the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt January 28, 2008.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said on Monday that his country will seek to control its border with the Gaza Strip gradually and restore the situation there to an acceptable condition.

Egypt on Sunday approved Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' proposal to deploy his guard troops at the crossing along with the EU monitors, according to an international deal signed in November2005.

However, Abbas did not give any detail about the implementation of his proposal as the Gaza Strip is currently under the control of Hamas.

On Monday, the EU was considering redeploying its monitors on Rafah crossing between the Hamas-run Gaza and Egypt with the guarantees from Hamas that the monitors' lives will not be endangered.

Hamas rejected the deal and demanded new arrangements based on excluding the monitors and reopening the borders as a pure Egyptian-Palestinian passage.

The EU monitors withdrew from Rafah crossing last June when Hamas routed Abbas' security forces and took control of the coastal enclave.

Israel imposes a strict closure on Gaza since Hamas began ruling the enclave and tightened the blockade on January 17 after Gaza militants stepped up rocket attacks on southern Israel.

(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2008)

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