Palestinian officer killed at Egypt-Gaza border

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GAZA CITY: A Palestinian security officer was shot dead by gunmen on Friday after their relatives were told to wait in line at the border terminal between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, medics and witnesses said. Abdelrahman Abu Teir, 24, sustained fatal wounds and four other Palestinians were also wounded in the shootout. The assailants opened fire after security officers tried to stop their family members from barging straight into the terminal rather than queuing up like hundreds of other would-be travellers, witnesses said. The Rafah crossing, the Gaza Strip s only route to the world that bypasses Israel, has frequently been closed since Palestinian fighters killed two Israeli soldiers and seized a third in a cross-border raid last June 25. Each time the terminal opens, huge numbers of travellers flock to cross into Egypt or return to the Gaza Strip in the other direction. Operation of the terminal is dictated by the Jewish state on security grounds, despite Israel s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September 2005. Since the terminal reopened two months later, the European Union has deployed observers at Rafah at the request of the Palestinian Authority and Israel, to monitor agreements on border traffic.

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