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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Tuesday that his government will not fully open its crossing into the Gaza Strip unless Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority is in control of the border post.

The speech Tuesday from Mubarak came despite criticism of Egypt in the Arab world over its refusal over the past year to open the Rafah crossing, which has helped complete an Israeli blockade of the territory.

Since Israel's offensive in Gaza began Saturday, Egypt has allowed some wounded to cross from Gaza for treatment and some humanitarian supplies to enter the territory.

But Egypt resists dealing with the Islamic militant Hamas because it opposes the militant group's 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip and insists Abbas is the legitimate Palestinian leader.

Yemenites storm Egyptian consulate to protest Cairo's Gaza policy

Yemeni protesters angered by Cairo's cooperation with Israel in imposing a blockade on Gaza stormed the Egyptian consulate in the southern city of Aden on Tuesday, witnesses said.

The protest comes after about 350 Palestinians were killed and more than 800 were wounded in three days of Israeli air strikes on the enclave, of which Egypt is the only other neighbour.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said the incident at the consulate was over and lasted 15 minutes.

One witness said the protesters burned the Egyptian flag and hoisted a Palestinian banner on top of building.

"Some of the protesters were able to enter the consulate and destroyed some property and papers," another witness said, adding that some of the protestors were Egyptian.

The Egyptian government has been under attack for the past three days for helping Israel in the blockade on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for the past six months.

The official Yemeni news agency said 20 Arabs, including some Sudanese, Iraqis and Palestinians, were arrested "for attempting to enter the consulate." It did not give details.

The crisis over Gaza is the most serious foreign policy challenge the Egyptian government has faced for years because it is the only Arab country that borders Gaza.