Hundreds of Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, managed
to cross the Rafah Border Crossing, in the southern part of the Gaza
Strip, after the international observers resumed their work there. Five
lorries carrying wheat, sugar and Rice were allowed into the Gaza Strip
through Kerem Shalom Crossing.
The Palestinian News Agency, WAFA, reported that dozens of buses transporting pilgrims into Egypt and then to Saudi Arabia crossed the crossing after Israel allowed the pilgrims to leave. Later on, residents waiting to be allowed into the Gaza Strip, especially the sick and urgent cases, will be allowed back.
The number of pilgrims expected to cross on Monday is 1500. The crossing is currently overcrowded as hundreds of residents are attempting to cross.
A source at the European Commission at the Crossing said that it is expected to remain in operation
on Wednesday and Thursday, and that students studying abroad and sick residents will be allowed to cross.
Wa'el Dahab, the spokesperson of Crossings Department at the Palestinian Authority, told WAFA, that 150 pilgrims crossed into the Egyptian side, and that, so far, the work at the crossing is going in the right direction.
Abu Dahab expressed hopes that the efforts conducted by president Mahmoud Abbas to keep the crossing opened will lead to fully opening it in the coming days in order to ease the suffering of the residents.
In a separate incident, five lorries carrying 90 Tons of Rice, Wheat and Sugar, were allowed through the Kerem Shalom trade crossing, south of the Rafah Sea Port.
An Egyptian official stated that there are efforts and to transfer additional 1500 tons in coordination with the UNRWA office in Cairo.
500 Tons each of wheat, Sugar and Rice are expected to be delivered in daily instalments of 150 tons each through the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
Last week, aid sent by the Egyptian Red Crescent and the World Food Program was allowed into the Gaza Strip through Kerem Shalom Crossing.