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Policemen in Gaza rampage on border

first_imgGAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Palestinian policemen went on a rampage over the killing of a colleague and seized the Gaza-Egypt border crossing for several hours Friday, forcing European monitors to flee in the latest sign of growing mayhem in the coastal strip. A British aid worker and her parents were released from captivity and brought to Israel early today, days after Palestinian gunmen seized the family in the southern Gaza Strip, officials said. A previously unknown group calling itself the Mujahedeen Brigades Jerusalem Branch claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and threatened to abduct more foreigners if Israel doesn’t end its “no-go” zone in the northern Gaza Strip. Friday’s border takeover and the kidnapping of the Britons fed worries that chaos in Gaza may be spreading to outsiders brought in to help develop the area following Israel’s pullout. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Gaza has experienced a wave of shootouts, kidnappings and armed takeovers of government buildings in recent months, undermining Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts to impose law and order in the wake of Israel’s withdrawal from the area in September. In new violence, a 14-year-old boy was killed Friday when a powerful Palestinian family attacked a local police station for a second straight day. Their assault the previous day caused the death of the police officer that set off the furious eruption by police Friday. About 100 policemen stormed the Rafah border terminal in the morning, firing in the air and taking up positions at the crossing, security officials and witnesses said. The unarmed European observers – responsible for enforcing terms of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement that opened the border recently – took refuge in a nearby Israeli military base, forcing the terminal to halt operations. The police withdrew peacefully from the border after about three hours. Several hours later, the Europeans reopened the crossing, said Julio De La Guardia, a spokesman for the observers. The unrest could threaten international efforts to help rehabilitate Gaza, whose economy is in tatters as it emerges from five years of heavy fighting with Israel. Under the leadership of former international envoy James Wolfensohn, donors have pledged $3 billion annually for Palestinian reconstruction projects, mostly in Gaza, for the next three years. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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