Egyptian border guards took measures to control huge crowds of Palestinians streaming from Gaza to Egypt across a breached border for a second day yesterday, but they did not try to halt the flow.
On the frontier, guards were patrolling access roads while helmeted police with sniffer dogs used batons to beat the hoods of private cars and pickup trucks that massed at the border, trying to stop them from carrying Palestinians further into Egyptian territory.
Egyptian officials said the border would eventually “return to normal.”
Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai, meanwhile, caused a stir when he said Israel gradually wants to relinquish responsibility for Gaza now that a border fence with Egypt has been blown open.
Privately, Israeli officials said the border breach could pave the way for increasingly disconnecting from the territory.