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Israel’s defense minister ordered the army to allow wounded Palestinians gathered at the Gaza Strip border to enter Israel. Ehud Barak issued his instructions early Wednesday amid mounting public outcry over the fate of scores of Fatah loyalists who took refuge at the Erez border crossing since Hamas’ seizure of Gaza last week. Several of the refugees were wounded in a Palestinian shooting spree against their hideout. Military officials said final details of the evacuation, which would have to be carried out under maximum security, were being worked out and that Israeli hospitals had been instructed to receive a half-dozen casualties. Also Wednesday, Israel allowed foreign diplomats and the foreign spouses of Palestinians in Gaza to leave the territory through the Erez crossing. Many are headed to the West Bank.

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