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Wounded Palestinians moved to North Sinai, some die en route

Scores of Palestinians moved to Egypt's North Sinai for treatment, some have died en route
3 min read
Egypt - Cairo
01 November, 2023
Injured Palestinians from Gaza were transferred to Egyptian hospitals via the Rafah border crossing on Wednesday, however, some reportedly died before arriving due to delays in transfer and passport restrictions.
The Rafah border crossing is the only connection of the Gaza Strip to the outside world. [Getty]

Scores of injured Palestinians were allowed to be transferred on Wednesday, from the besieged Gaza Strip to hospitals in Egypt's North Sinai province for treatment and surgery via the Rafah border crossing, as reports say an unconfirmed number of these patients died en route. 

"The Egyptian border authorities rejected to allow any Palestinians in regardless of how critical their cases were unless they had valid passports," a local Palestinian source on the border told The New Arab on condition of anonymity.

TNA could not independently verify the Palestinian claim as Egypt has not officially commented on the incident.

No details have yet been released on the medical condition of the Palestinian cases.

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Local media reports said that one relative of each Palestinian patient would be allowed to cross into Egypt with the case as the Israeli ongoing war on Gaza has entered its fifth week. 

The Rafah border crossing is the only connection of the Gaza Strip to the outside world.

Around 40 Egyptian ambulances were piling up near the gate of the border crossing, pending their turn to carry the wounded Palestinians to public hospitals in the provincial capital, El-Arish and other parts of North Sinai.

Earlier in the day, dozens of foreign nationalities had been evacuated from Gaza as per a deal brokered by Qatar between Egypt, the Hamas faction ruling Gaza, and the Israeli government, according to media reports.

State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported online, citing North Sinai Governor Mohamed Shosha as saying that local hospitals in North Sinai had been put on a state of alert as an additional field hospital had been being set up in Sheikh Zuweid city area in Rafah city with 50 beds, raising the capacity of in the province to 350 beds.

Video footage released by Egyptian satellite news channels showed dozens of people leaving the crossing for Egypt and several ambulances entering and leaving the borders.

Egypt has yet to declare a timeline for how long the border crossing will remain accessible.

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Almost half of some 30 hospitals have been put out of service in Gaza after being bombarded by Israel or due to the lack of fuel in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Since 2007, Egypt and Israel have imposed a strict blockade on Gaza after Hamas assumed power following clashes with the rival Fatah faction that rules the occupied West Bank.

It was not until nearly a decade later, when Hamas dropped its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, a legally outlawed group in Egypt since 2014, that the Egyptian regime softened its tone towards the Palestinian faction.