As the Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip continues, claiming over 40 Palestinian lives this week alone, thousands of Palestinians are stuck at the closed border, sweltering in the heat of the Egyptian desert sun and unable to return home to Gaza.  At least one elderly man has died from heat stroke at the crossing.

A reporter with the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency said that Abu Khalid Daoud,78, died because of the difficult and inhumane conditions at the Rafah crossing.

The Rafah crossing is the only entry and exit point into and out of the Gaza Strip for Palestinians.  It has been closed since the Israeli offensive into Gaza began last week, leaving up to 5,000 Palestinians stranded and unable to enter into Gaza, their home.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Abdolhakeem Awad stated that the Israeli occupation aims to break the will of the Palestinian people so that the occupation forces can have free reign over Palestine. Awad’s statement rejected the idea that Kerem Shalom crossing be used as a means for Palestinians to enter the Gaza Strip, saying that this was a form of bullying by Israeli authorities.