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Threat from Israel operations preventing Rafah Crossing aid deliveries, says Egypt

May 20, 2024 at 2:44 pm

Aid trucks loaded with supplies For Gaza are queued in Al-Arish City after the border closed, on May 8, 2024 in Arish, Egypt. [Photo by Ali Moustafa/Getty Image]

The cessation of aid deliveries through the Rafah Crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is connected to the threat posed to humanitarian work by Israel’s military operation in the area, Egypt’s Foreign Minister said on Monday, Reuters reports

“Now there is a military presence on the outskirts of the Rafah Crossing and military operations that put aid convoys and truck drivers in danger,” Sameh Shoukry told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart in Cairo.

“The procedures resulting from Israeli military operations affect the operation of the Rafah Crossing,” he said.

Activity has ceased at the Rafah Crossing, which is positioned on Egypt’s 13km (8 mile) border with the Gaza Strip, since Israel stepped up its military offensive and took operational control of the Crossing from the Gazan side on 7 May.

International aid deliveries have been stuck on the Egyptian side of the border, leading to worries that some of the food supplies will perish. Parts of Gaza are at risk of famine after more than seven months of war.

Much of the aid delivered into Gaza since the start of the conflict between Israel and Palestine in October has come through Egypt, entering Gaza through Rafah or the nearby Karm Abu Salem Crossing on Israel’s border with the Palestinian Territory.

Shoukry repeated calls for Israel to open other land crossings to deliver aid. “There are closed military crossings that should be used if there is real humanitarian concern about what is happening in Gaza,” he said.

UNRWA: Failure to reopen land crossings to worsen humanitarian conditions in Gaza