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Egypt: Rafah crossing is open and pressure must be put on Israel, says foreign minister

November 16, 2023 at 4:32 pm

A military vehicle is seen at the Rafah border crossing to Gaza on October 19, 2023 in North Sinai, Egypt [Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images]

Egypt’s Foreign Minister has called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to allow aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. “The Rafah crossing is open on our side,” Sameh Shoukry told journalists, “but the entry of aid is subject to approval from the Israeli side.”

Egypt’s top diplomat stressed that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is intolerable. He also emphasised that any attempt to displace Palestinians is a flagrant violation of international law.

The Rafah crossing is currently Gaza’s only window to the world. Arab and international relief trucks carry aid through the crossing after arrival at El-Arish International Airport.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez said on Monday that the Rafah crossing is open and has not been closed at any stage since the beginning of the crisis in the Gaza Strip. He confirmed that the Israeli side is the one hindering the entry of aid to the enclave, “with obstructive procedures and baseless justifications.”

Hafez also expressed “strong condemnation of all claims to the contrary,” and called on those who claim the crossing is closed to refer to the statements issued by the UN and international relief officials who have visited the crossing.

The Israeli aggression continues for the 41st consecutive day, during which 11,630 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,710 children and 3,165 women, in addition to 29,800 injured, more than half of whom are children and women, according to the latest official statistics as of Wednesday evening.

READ: Israel’s ‘grave violations’ against Palestinians ‘point to a genocide in making’: UN experts