Spokesman of the popular committee against the Israeli blockade, Rami Abdo, announced on Wedensday that patient number 200 died after having been unable to go for treatment outside of Gaza as Israel continues to close border crossings for more than one year now.
Mazen Arrar, 20 a cardiac patient, died while he was awaiting to enter through the Rafah crossing terminal yesterday, but he could not do so due to the continued closure of Gaza, which Israel enforced in June2007.
Arrar’s death is the second in 24 hours, as well as the eight-month-old infant Ayat Anwar Dhaik, of the Nuseirat refugee camp, after she was unable to go outside of Gaza yesterday.
In the meantime, spokesman of the Gaza’s crossings administration, Mohammad Sultan Odwan, told media outlets today that he expects a reopening of the commercial crossings as well as the Rafah crossing terminal by Wednesday morning.
Odwan added that despite the Israeli closure of all crossings yesterday, cargo terminals in Gaza are expected to deliver goods and commodities into the coastal territory by Wednesday midday.
Yesterday, the Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing terminal, allowing entry of 30 patients , who are in need of medial attention at Cairo hospitals, while more than 150 others could not make their way into Egypt.
The reopening of the terminal also enabled more than 130 stranded Egyptians to come back to Egypt after having been stuck in Gaza since January of this year, when Palestinian crowds flooded into bordering Egyptian towns for essential supplies amidst a crippling Israeli blockade.
The continued closure of Gaza’s crossings comes as the ruling Hamas party in Gaza and Israel agreed less than two weeks ago to an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire deal, which stipulates that Israel must lift the closure gradually as Hamas prevents homemade shells fire from Gaza into Israel.
According to Palestinian sources, the past two weeks saw limited shipments of goods, commodities and fuel into the region, as very few number of homemade shells have been fired onto Israel.
Meanwhile, Palestinain Prime Minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, called on Cairo yesterday to pressure Israel to live up with its obligations towards the reopening of Gaza’s crossings as stipulated in the ceaefire deal.
Also, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, warned yesterday of what he termed Israel’s impatience towards the firing of homemade shells, saying Israel might consider a strong response.