Israel evacuates Erez refugees


Israel evacuated dozens of Palestinians to Egypt after they fled the factional fighting in Gaza.

On orders from Defense Minister Ehud Barak, buses furnished by the Israeli military on Wednesday night ferried Palestinians who had holed up at the Gaza Strip’s Erez border crossing down to Egypt. Witnesses put the number of people transfered at between 30 and 100.

Scores of Palestinians, most of them linked to Fatah, took cover in Erez after their faction was routed by Hamas Islamists in Gaza last week. Israeli public pressure to admit the refugees mounted after a Palestinian gunman opened fire on them, killing one and wounding several.

But Israel spent several days working out a solution, citing concern that Fatah militiamen could be among the group.

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