Both Egypt and the PA hope to start sealing off a frontier which thousands have crossed illegally since Israel's pullout from the occupied territory.

"We deployed today 1500 police and national security forces. It started at 7am (0400 GMT) and it is completed now," Interior Ministry spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khussa said on Saturday.

The troops fired warning shots to keep people away from the border, Abu Khussa said.

Thousands of Palestinians have streamed unchecked into Egypt since large chunks of the border wall were ripped down after Israel's troop pullout on Monday.

Israeli and Palestinian officials have expressed concern that the collapse of border controls might have allowed large quantities of weapons and illegal drugs to be smuggled into the territory, and both Egypt and the Palestinians have announced seizures.