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OPT: Hundreds of Palestinians stranded at Gaza checkpoints

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GAZA, Jul 25, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Hundreds of Palestinians were stranded Monday at two checkpoints in the Gaza Strip as Israeli forces tightened security measures after militants killed two Israelis on Sunday.

Abu Holi and al-Matahen checkpoints manned by Israeli soldiers remained closed for the third consecutive day, which blocked the free movement of Palestinians and goods, a statement issued by the Palestinian Interior Ministry said on Monday.

Israeli forces closed the checkpoints cutting the Gaza Strip into north and south after Palestinian militants killed two Israelis near the Gaza border crossing of Kissofim on Sunday.

Palestinians stranded at the checkpoints slammed the Israeli closure as tough and called on human rights groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross to interfere.

Palestinian Interior Ministry also rebuked the Israeli government for hindering the Palestinian people's normal life.