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Egypt opens Gaza border to receive wounded in Israeli attacks

The move comes on the back of intensifying violence in the coastal strip where Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 121 Palestinians and injured more than 900 since Tuesday

Ahram Online, Saturday 12 Jul 2014
Rafah
Rafah border terminal between Egypt and Gaza, and the only gateway for Gaza's people (Photo: AP)
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Egypt is scheduled to open Saturday its border crossing with the Gaza Strip to receive Palestinians injured in Israeli attacks, state news agency MENA reported.

The move comes on the back of intensifying violence in the coastal enclave where Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 121 Palestinians and injured more than 900 since Tuesday.

Aid from Egypt and Arab states will also pass through the crossing to affected areas.

An official at the Rafah crossing told MENA that the crossing is ready to receive the injured, with ambulances lining up to transport them to Egyptian hospitals.

A state of emergency has been announced in North Sinai hospitals, especially Al-Arish General Hospital and Rafah Central Hospital, North Sinai Governor Abdel-Fattah Harhour stated.

The border was opened Thursday for 24 hours before it was closed again, drawing criticism on the Egyptian administration for only opening the border for a short amount of time.

Health ministry undersecretary Khaled El-Washahy said 11 injured were admitted to North Sinai hospitals Thursday, where the patients received quick medical attention.

On Friday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered Egypt's army to transport 500 tons of food and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip.

It is unclear how long the border crossing would remain open.

Egyptian authorities have largely kept the crossing closed since former president Mohamed Morsi's removal, citing security concerns in the restive Sinai Peninsula where an Islamist insurgency is burgeoning.

The closure of the passage has taken a toll on an estimated 1.7 million Palestinians living in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip, under a crippling Israeli siege since 2006.

Violence in the coastal strip began building up three weeks ago after three Israeli settler students were abducted in the occupied West Bank. They were killed and their bodies were found last week. Then a Palestinian teenage was kidnapped and burned to death in Jerusalem.
 

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