Egyptian authorities have opened Rafah crossing, early this morning, to allow hundreds of injured Palestinians to receive medical treatment after Israel’s latest string of assaults on the Gaza Strip.Iyad al-Buzm, a spokesman for Gaza’s Palestinian Ministry of Interior, told Ma’an News Agency that the Egyptian side notified the ministry that the crossing would be open at 9 a.m. on Thursday for injured Palestinians and other humanitarian cases.
Egypt’s frequent closure of the crossing, the only border terminal through which Palestinians can exit Gaza, has pushed an already dire humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave to its utter limits.
According to Ma’an, Egypt urged Israel and Hamas, on Wednesday, to end the escalating conflict but presented no hope of any Cairo-mediated truce.
During the 2012 assault on Gaza by Israel, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi had condemned ‘Israeli aggression’, sending his prime minister to the region in a show of support for Palestinians.
Since his ousting in July of 2013, Cairo has further strengthened the siege on Gaza, with a focus on tunnels leading to the Strip, accusing Hamas of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in attacks occuring inside Egypt.
The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, leading to frequent humanitarian crises. With Egyptian backing, Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, following a political victory by Hamas.