On 17 July, the Israeli army closed the Rafah entry point, which is the only route Gazans can take to leave or re-enter the strip, with an army spokeswomen claiming that the terminal was closed because militants were planning to tunnel under it and blow it up.
However, during three weeks of exploration, no tunnel was found.
Many of the Palestinians stranded in Egypt were returning from medical treatment and were forced to camp in tents or sleep on the floors of the terminal.
The border was finally re-opened on 6 August.
The episode reminds one of the
way that the Nazis dumped around 15,000 German Jews of Polish origin in no-mans land at Zbaszyn on
the German-Polish border on 28 October 1938. This led the son of two of them,
Hershel Grynszpan (pronounced “greenspan”), to enter
the German embassy in Paris and shoot, Ernst Vom Rath, a German diplomat (who, ironically, was actually a critic of the Nazis). The assassination provided the Nazis an excuse for launching the
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