As the Financial Times writes, Washington and regional powers are pressing Israel to allow humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and to open the Rafah border crossing to third-country passport holders.
The Rafah crossing is the only border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Over the past few days, hundreds of thousands of people have moved south from Gaza City and its surrounding areas, near the Egyptian border. On Monday, hundreds of dual citizens waited at the closed border crossing for several hours, but many left in the afternoon, losing hope that the border crossing would reopen.
Deadlock in the Gaza Strip
However, the sides remain deadlocked despite the UN and other agencies warning of a humanitarian crisis.
“Unfortunately, the government of Israel has not yet taken a position to help open the border crossing from Gaza or to allow third-country nationals to leave,” said Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shogri.
“I’ve been coming here every day for three days, I’ve been waiting and nothing has happened,” said Razmeya Ahmed, a dual Palestinian-Jordanian citizen, as quoted by the FT.
The situation is dramatic
Diplomats have warned that an agreement between the two sides will be difficult. As the British daily writes, Egypt says it will allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, but insists it will only allow dual nationals into its territory. Meanwhile, some foreign officials say Israel is willing to allow people to leave Gaza for Egypt but opposes humanitarian aid.
The WHO warns that without immediate help, a real catastrophe will loom in the Gaza Strip. – In Gaza, water, electricity and fuel are being cut off for 24 hours, and if help does not arrive within that time, doctors can only produce a death certificate, Ahmed al-Mandari, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) regional branch, said on Monday.
The European Union is launching a “humanitarian airlift” to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip, the European Commission’s press office in Brussels said on Monday. The first two flights will take place this week and will deliver, among others: medicines and health kits.
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