- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian official said Tuesday that the government temporarily is lifting its blockade of the Gaza Strip to allow aid into the area a day after Israel raided an international flotilla carrying supplies to the Palestinian territory and killed nine activists.

Several thousand Gazans have made a furious rush to the Egyptian border, hoping to take advantage of a rare chance to escape the blockaded territory.

Cars with suitcases piled on their roofs have streamed to the border, while many others have lugged overstaffed bags on foot.

Dozens of Hamas police with automatic weapons patrolled the area to maintain order.

The governor of northern Sinai, Murad Muwafi, said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the opening of the border crossing to Gaza in the town of Rafah for several days.

Mr. Muwafi said the opening of the crossing, which Egypt sealed after Gaza was taken over by Hamas militants in 2007, is an effort to “alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian brothers after the Israeli attack” on the flotilla.

Associated Press writer Rizek Abdel Jawad contributed to this report from Rafah, Gaza Strip.

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