Gaza gets food and medical aid lifeline from Egypt through Rafah crossing

Critically ill and injured residents of Gaza have also been allowed treatment in Egypt

A convoy carrying crucial aid into Gaza has been sent by the Egyptian government through the Rafah border crossing, the only gateway between Egypt and the enclave.

Lorries with large banners bearing the face of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and the Egyptian flag arrived at the Rafah gate early on Monday, as Israel continued its air strikes on Gaza.

The shipment comprised 65 tonnes of 200 different kinds of medical supplies, in addition to food, Egypt's Health Ministry announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The Israeli army said on Monday that more than 800 targets had been bombed in Gaza over almost eight days of operations. Hamas has fired over 3,300 rockets in the conflict so far.

“All back-up and support from the Egyptian people to the Palestinian people” was emblazoned on the sides of the lorries.

Photos showing the long convoy snaking into Gaza were shared widely on social media. The shipments included food and emergency medical supplies.

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing a day early on Sunday, allowing ambulances into the Gaza Strip to take those wounded by the air strikes to hospitals, which were on standby since Friday.

An aid delivery from the Egyptian Red Crescent is also expected to reach Gaza in the coming days.

A promotional video shared on the Egyptian Cabinet’s official Facebook page on Monday afternoon showed volunteers packing oxygen and other medical supplies.

The Egyptian Red Crescent said on Monday that its medical staff were at the Rafah border crossing to receive and treat the wounded.

The second aid package will be handled and distributed by the Palestinian Red Crescent inside the Gaza strip as they see fit.

Palestinians have also been posting videos on various social media platforms thanking Egypt for allowing them through the border crossing and out of harm's way. There were also televised statements made by Palestinians about Egypt’s generosity.

“I want to thank the Egyptian people and the Egyptian government for standing beside us and opening the crossing to get us out of what we’re going through,” a Palestinian mother said as she carried her child.

“Egypt’s people have always supported and stood beside us. We are one family and one people.”

Mr El Sisi, who is attending the Paris Conference in support of Sudan’s transition, has been vocal about his intent to mediate between Palestine and Israel to reach a ceasefire and end the violence.

“The current situation now is that we are very urgently and very clearly seeking a return to quiet, end the violence and the killings taking place,” he said in Paris late on Sunday.

The death toll in Gaza rose to a total of 198 on Sunday, including at least 58 children, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

Updated: May 18, 2021 05:21 PM

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