Tens of thousands of Palestinians forced their way across the Gaza Strip border into Egypt.
Gunmen blew up sections of the barrier separating Gaza from the Sinai early Wednesday, allowing the Palestinians to surge across as Egyptian police watched without intervening.
The influx appeared to have been prompted by Israel’s blockade of Gaza imposed last week following a surge of Palestinian cross-border rocket fire. Many of the Palestinians who entered Egyptian territory quickly stocked up on supplies before returning home.
Egypt, which ruled Gaza until Israel captured the territory in the 1967 Six-Day War, is a key player in Palestinian politics but has always controlled its level of involvement.
Wednesday’s border breaches suggested Egypt could be forced into a supportive role for the Hamas administration in Gaza, which is shunned by Israel and the West.