Egypt relief convoys head towards Rafah border amid Gaza catastrophe

Egypt relief convoys head towards Rafah border amid Gaza catastrophe
Aid convoys in Egypt stationed in El-Arish, Sinai started heading towards the Rafah crossing, waiting for authorities to let them cross into Gaza.
2 min read
17 October, 2023
Egypt's aid convoy to Gaza border [Getty]

Aid convoys stationed in Egypt's Sinai headed towards the Rafah border crossing on Tuesday morning, according to relief workers, amid hopes supplies will be allowed into the besieged enclave.

The trucks were stationed in El Arish, the capital of North Sinai governorate, waiting for the green light from authorities to cross to Gaza through the Rafah crossing; the only border point between the besieged enclave and Egypt.

Heba Rashid, founder of Egyptian NGO Mersal, stated, "We have reached the crossing... awaiting the next steps." 

There have been urgent calls by NGOs for Cairo to immediately open the Rafah crossing to allow aid in and the sick and injured out of Gaza.

Around 2 million people are in desperate need of aid after Israel cut water, food, and other supplies to Gaza.

Israeli airstrikes around the border area have also led to questions over safe access to Gaza.

Hundreds of trucks have gathered along the 40-kilometre road between El-Arish and Rafah, as reported by other relief sources.

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, said on Monday that the Israeli government had not decided yet whether to re-open the Rafah border crossing but confirmed that the government had initiated discussions with the United Nations regarding the matter

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Egyptian sources had told The New Arab’s sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on Sunday night that urgent efforts were underway to open the Rafah border crossing in the coming hours. Both Hamas and the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied the reports.

With Israeli airstrikes ongoing in Gaza on the eleventh day, more than 2.3 million Palestinians are deprived of basic necessities. 

The intensified blockade imposed by Netanyahu's government includes the closure of border crossings and the threat of preventing aid from reaching Gaza.