Egypt called for the establishment of a buffer zone to stop the bombing around the Rafah crossingWhich remained the only point of contact with the outside world for the two million residents of the Gaza Strip, who are closed under the comprehensive siege announced by the Israeli government as an immediate response to the terrible attacks launched by Hamas. Cairo’s proposal was revealed on the day the Egyptian Foreign Ministry wanted to deny what it described as inaccurate information regarding the closure of the crossing by the Egyptians.
The crossing is open
The crossing is open “except that its facilities on the Palestinian side were damaged by repeated Israeli bombing,” as we read in a memorandum from the ministry, which states that “Egypt called on Israel to avoid attacking the Palestinian side of Gaza.” “The crossing”, so that “reform work continues” and the crossing serves as “support for the Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip.”
The crossing was subjected to Israeli raids on Tuesday afternoon, after the Israeli government announced the cessation of supplies of food, fuel and other goods to Gaza.
After this bombing, there were reports that the crossing was closed, which the Egyptian government now denies, calling on countries and international organizations to send humanitarian aid to Gaza to Al-Arish Airport, which is located 56 kilometers from the border crossing. And the aid that Jordan has already sent, although it is not yet clear whether it will actually be able to enter Gaza.
Humanitarian corridors from Gaza
The issue of opening the Rafah crossing is closely linked to the issue of opening humanitarian corridors with Gaza, on which the United States has been conducting consultations with the Israelis and Egyptians for several days. Washington’s concern is not limited to the ability to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, in the face of UN declarations that consider the comprehensive blockade as collective punishment. But also the ability to guarantee an escape route for Palestinian civilians, who have already been subjected to Israeli raids for days, especially in the event of the expected Israeli ground operation.
But if Egypt was willing to use the crossing for the passage of food and other aid, it has instead demonstrated its opposition to establishing humanitarian corridors to remove Palestinians from Gaza, US sources familiar with the ongoing consultations told CNN in recent days. Egypt, which in the past has restricted Palestinian entry into its territory even in times of maximum conflict, claims it opposes the idea of humanitarian corridors for civilians to protect “the Palestinians’ right to defend their cause and land,” objecting to what Al Jazeera summarizes in its headline as “the attempt to empty Gaza.”
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