Egypt: Volunteers collect humanitarian aid to channel to Gaza

Volunteers from Resala charity organisation collect humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza as an aid convoy is set to head to Rafah on Egypt’s eastern border with the Gaza Strip.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Saturday that medical supplies covering the needs of 300,000 people in the Gaza Strip had been delivered to an Egyptian airport near the Palestinian enclave, pending humanitarian access.

According to the WHO, the equipment can be delivered once humanitarian access can be established via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

A plane carrying 78 m3 of equipment from the UN agency’s logistics centre in Dubai landed at Egypt’s El-Arich airport, WHO said in a statement.

Egypt says its side of the Rafah crossing that connects Sinai with the Gaza Strip remains open, though traffic has been halted for several days because of Israeli bombardments on the Palestinian side of the border.

Egyptian security forces have been reinforcing security on their side of the border, including moving concrete barriers, but reports that they were sealing off the crossing were incorrect, one Egyptian security source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The crossing is the main exit point for the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million residents that is not controlled by Israel. Israel and Egypt have upheld a blockade on the enclave, controlling the movement of goods and people, since Hamas took control in 2007.

There is alarm in Egypt over the prospect that residents in Gaza could be displaced by Israel’s siege and bombardment of the territory, launched in retaliation for the devastating incursion by Hamas militants.

Like other Arab states, it has said that Palestinians should stay on their lands as the war escalates, and that it is working to secure delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip.

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