German FM Baerbock calls for more access points to deliver aid to Palestinians in Gaza

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Jan 2024

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called – during her visit to the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing with Gaza – for the opening of more access points to accelerate the delivery of aid to the Palestinians in dire need in the Gaza strip.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (back R) walks during a visit in the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, on January 9, 2024. AFP


Baerbock arrived in the Egyptian North Sinai governorate aboard a German military aircraft carrying relief aid to inspect the arrival of the German aid as well as the situation at the Rafah crossing, through which Egypt has facilitated the delivery of aid to the besieged strip. 

“Today, I was in Rafah and Al-Arish to get a picture of the humanitarian situation. Germany has increased its humanitarian aid to a total of 211 million euros, but humanitarian aid alone is not enough, it must also arrive," Baerbock said.

"I extend special thanks to relief organizations, especially Egyptian and United Nations organizations. But assistants need a minimum of security to complete their difficult work. That is why we must do everything in our power to achieve humanitarian truces and humanitarian assistance corridors," she added.

"We need more points of entry so that trucks do not pile up at the border and there must be an urgent response to the medical disaster: doctors in the remaining hospitals in Gaza must be able to do their work, and the seriously injured must be rescued and taken across the border for treatment. Everyone has to contribute, and this is a task that falls on everyone in the international community.”

Governor of North Sinai Abdel-Fadil Shosha accompanied Germany’s top diplomat during her visit to the Rafah border crossing.

Baerbock also visited Al-Arish Hospital where she met the injured Palestinian, currently receiving treatment in Egypt. 

Al-Arish Hospital has received over 1500 Palestinians injured since the start of the war in October, according to the statement.

The German embassy in Cairo said the visit reflects Germany’s commitment to de-escalation in the Middle East.

Baerbock arrived in Cairo on Monday evening and held talks with her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry earlier on Tuesday. 

In a joint presser, Baerbock and Shoukry reiterated Egypt’s total rejection of any measures taken to forcibly displace the Palestinians from Gaza.

Shoukry said that Egypt is exerting huge efforts to transfer humanitarian aid to the strip amid the difficulties placed by Israel regarding the entry of humanitarian aid to the besieged strip through the Egyptian Red Crescent.

As the war in Gaza enters its 95th day, the Israeli army has killed more than 23,000 people so far, most of whom are women and children, while more than 58,000 people have been wounded.

The Israeli airstrikes against homes and civilian targets in Gaza have displaced most of the 2.4 million population of the strip.

Moreover, the Israeli blockade on the strip since the start of the war has created near-famine conditions for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the strip.

Egypt has played a leading role in delivering aid to Palestinians through the Rafah border crossing with the strip.

Cairo has also called on the international community to pressure Israel to allow for the sustainable and uninterrupted entry of aid to Gaza.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization called for the unfettered entry of humanitarian aid to the strip, including northern Gaza.

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