Friday, June 21, 2024

Rafah crossing opens for first time since start of Gaza war

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt has opened for the first time since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7.

More than 500 foreign nationals and dual citizens will be allowed to leave the enclave, the Gaza Borders and Crossings Authority said in a statement verified by Al Jazeera’s Sanad Agency.

The list of the people allowed to cross was published by the authority that called on them to head towards the crossing on Wednesday at 7am local time (05:00 GMT).

According to earlier reports, dozens of injured Palestinians needing medical treatment in Egypt will also be allowed to leave the enclave.

Convoys of desperately needed aid have been trickling in Gaza through Rafah since last month but no people had been allowed through the crossing until Wednesday.

Queues formed on Wednesday morning at the terminal. After being allowed into the terminal area, huge queues formed around crossing booths for checks on passports and other documents.

Ambulances waited on the Egyptian side to take away the wounded and sick.

The zone around the terminal has been hit during Israeli air raids on Gaza after the October 7 attacks which Israeli authorities say killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians. Another 240 people were taken captive.

Some of those being taken out for treatment in Egyptian hospitals are among more than 20,000 wounded in Israeli air raids, which Gaza’s Ministry of Health says have killed more than 8,500 people, two-thirds of them women and children.

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