Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Thursday after a request from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Ban said that he phoned Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Wednesday and demanded that he open the crossing to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. The government in Cairo said that it would open the crossing to allow wounded Palestinians to cross the border in order to receive medical treatment in Egypt’s hospitals.
Ban said that he also asked Al-Sisi to help facilitate a return to the ceasefire agreed by Israel and the then Hamas-controlled government in Gaza in November 2012.
“I am alarmed by the new wave of violence that has engulfed Gaza, southern Israel and the West Bank, including Jerusalem,” said the UN head. “This is one of the most critical tests the region has faced in recent years.”