Gazans Stuck in Israel Tunnel

No way out for those trapped in Erez passage en route to West Bank
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2007 5:35 PM CDT
Gazans Stuck in Israel Tunnel
An injured Palestinian is taken by rescue workers to a hospital in Israel after fleeing from Gaza at the Erez Crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, June 19, 2007. Hundreds of terrified Gazans fleeing Hamas rule were trapped at a main crossing with Israel on Tuesday, hoping to gain permission...   (Associated Press)

Hundreds of Gazans hoping to escape Hamas are boxed in a filthy tunnel at a major crossing point with Israel, awaiting safe passage to the calmer West Bank. Israeli authorities are citing security concerns in checking the Palestinians, some of whom were wounded when Hamas attacked the tunnel at the Erez crossing yesterday.

100 of the 600 trapped Gazans are Fatah security forces; the rest are civilians. Except for several with serious injuries and one father in mourning, Israel has not deemed their condition critical and is keeping them in limbo. One Fatah leader hinted that Palestinian PM Abbas tacitly opposes the evacuation of Fatah supporters from Gaza, which would fortify Hamas's control there. (More West Bank stories.)

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