Chaos amidst humanitarian crisis at Rafah border as Israeli strikes force closure as Palestinians fleetext_fields
Amid unabated bombing in residential areas of Gaza, chaos unfolded at the crossing as people attempted to escape the violence. Videos circulated on social media captured the frantic scenes as Israeli aircraft bombarded the area at least three times.
Earlier, a senior Israeli Defense Force (IDF) spokesman urged Palestinians to flee to Egypt, stating, "Rafah crossing is still open. Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to get out." However, the IDF later issued a clarification, denying any official call for Gaza residents to leave for Egypt.
The Sinai Foundation for Human Rights (SFHR) reported that Egyptian humanitarian aid trucks warned of potential targeting returned without delivering supplies. The repeated aerial bombardment has led to the indefinite closure of the border crossing.
Israeli Ambassador to Egypt, Amira Oron, emphasized that Israel had no intentions regarding Sinai and had not asked Palestinians to move there. Oron reiterated Israel's commitment to the peace treaty with Egypt, stressing that Sinai is Egyptian territory where the Egyptian army has fought terrorism.
The airstrikes are part of Israel's robust counteroffensive following surprise attacks by Hamas on October 7. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Gaza would face an "unknown price" for the attacks, which have resulted in at least 1,200 Israeli deaths and 3,000 injuries.
Gaza's Ministry of Health reported staggering casualties among Palestinians, with at least 974 killed, including 260 children and 230 women, and 5,000 citizens injured.
The international community is closely monitoring the situation, expressing concern over the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. Calls for an immediate ceasefire and diplomatic intervention to address the escalating violence have intensified, as civilians on both sides endure the devastating consequences of the conflict.
The closure of the Rafah border crossing further complicates the delivery of crucial humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, exacerbating an already dire situation.