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Saudi-Egypt air bridge opens for transfer of aid to Gaza

February 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

An air bridge between Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s El-Arish International Airport started on Monday to transfer medical supplies provided by the Kingdom to the Gaza Strip. The first flight carried about 10 tons of medicines and medical equipment, which will be driven from El-Arish to the Rafah border crossing.

A representative of the Saudi Health Ministry, Dr. Tariq Al-Arnoosi, announced that the airlift will continue to deliver aid to El-Arish on a one flight per day basis over 14 days. A total of 140 tons of essential medicines and medical supplies worth 10 million Saudi Riyals will be delivered to Gaza.

Dr Al-Arnoosi pointed out that he has coordinated with the Palestinian government in Gaza to identify the most urgent medical needs. It has been agreed that the Saudi initiative will focus on the needs of heart and eye patients and to provide comprehensive health care for wounded and sick Palestinians.

The Saudi official expressed his thanks to the Egyptian authorities for facilitating the air bridge, which serves to speed-up the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip. Previous medical aid convoys have had to send their goods by sea to El-Arish or drive them from Cairo across Northern Sinai, a journey which can take up to 7 hours.