Egypt has affirmed that the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip is “open and has not been closed at any stage since the beginning of the crisis in the region.” It strongly emphasized that Israel is the party obstructing the entry of aid in response to criticisms and allegations it has faced since the start of the war.
The Egyptian Rafah crossing is the only one connected to the Gaza Strip, which has faced Israeli bombardment for 38 days. It is used for the passage of Arab and international relief aid trucks that arrive through the nearby El-Arich International Airport.
The spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated in a Monday statement, “The Rafah crossing is open and has not been closed at any stage since the beginning of the crisis in the Gaza Strip.” He added, “The Israeli side, through obstructive procedures, conditions, and baseless justifications, is the one hindering the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.”
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson expressed “strong condemnation of all the allegations that are being promoted to the contrary,” urging those “spreading or claiming the closure of the crossing to refer to the statements issued by the United Nations organization and international relief officials who visited the crossing.”
He stated that all the UN and international data “confirmed that the Egyptian side has taken all measures to ensure the entry of humanitarian aid into the sector quickly and sustainably,” clarifying that “Israeli obstructive procedures are the reason for the delay in the arrival of aid to its beneficiaries among the brothers of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”
He continued, “We do not accept bidding on Egypt’s supportive positions for Palestinian rights and solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
Egypt rejects accusations of participating in imposing a blockade on the sector before and after the war, pointing out that it has contributed to the entry of many humanitarian and medical aids to alleviate the suffering, as confirmed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Israel claims that the reason for its refusal to allow certain aid, especially fuel, is to prevent Hamas fighters from obtaining it for use in battles north of the Gaza Strip. Sources confirmed that a visit by a Hamas delegation led by the head of the political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, to Cairo last week addressed the issue of providing urgent humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing, in addition to the issue of hostages and the cessation of the ceasefire.
Many media reports have indicated that Hamas dug tunnels on the border between Gaza and Egypt in recent years to bring in food and medicine to alleviate the siege on the sector. However, observers say that Israel eased the blockade measures on the sector before the October 7th attack. For the past 38 days, the Israeli army has been waging a destructive war on the Gaza Strip, resulting in catastrophic humanitarian and health conditions. Approximately 1.5 million out of 2.3 million people have been displaced from their homes due to continuous bombardment, preventing the supply of food, water, medicine, electricity, and fuel.