Good thing Condi Rice prevailed upon the Israelis to give up control of this border crossing, eh? From AP, with thanks to JE:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Palestinian policemen angry over the killing of a fellow officer stormed the Gaza-Egypt border crossing Friday, firing shots in the air and forcing European monitors to close the border and flee, Palestinian and European officials said.
About 100 policemen entered the Rafah compound and took up positions alongside border patrol officers at the customs section of the crossing, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.
The European observers “” responsible for monitoring the crossing and ensuring the terms of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement are upheld “” fled the area, officials said.
There were no immediate reports of any casualties….
The border was closed because according to the Israeli-Palestinian agreement the crossing cannot operate if the European contingent is not present, said Julio De La Guardia, spokesman for the European monitors….
The takeover is the latest in a rash of armed kidnappings and takeovers of government buildings that underscores the lawlessness in Gaza and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ inability to bring order to the coastal area following Israel’s withdrawal in September.
A British woman and her parents were kidnapped Wednesday by armed gunmen near the Rafah crossing. The family’s fate remains unknown. Palestinian security were searching for the family, while British diplomats monitored the situation.