Israel-Palestine conflict: first ambulances from Gaza cross into Egypttext_fields
Cairo: The first ambulances carrying wounded Palestinians from the conflict-ridden Gaza Strip have crossed into Egypt via the Rafah crossing, according to an Egyptian official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Live broadcasts on various television stations depicted Egyptian medical personnel examining the injured Palestinians and transferring them onto stretchers before loading them into Egyptian ambulances. Among the patients was a child, and officials stated that approximately 90 of the most severely wounded individuals would be permitted to enter Egypt for medical treatment.
On the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, an AFP correspondent witnessed 40 ambulances arriving at the terminal, each carrying two patients. These patients were scheduled to be transported to multiple locations, including a field hospital in Sheikh Zuweid, situated about 15 kilometers from Rafah. Other reports indicated that some patients would be taken to a hospital in El Arish, located 30 kilometers to the west, while the most complex cases would be referred to hospitals in Cairo.
Following the transfer of the wounded, Egypt was set to grant entry to hundreds of foreign passport holders for the first time since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7.
This crossing was initiated through an agreement brokered by Qatar, mediated by the United States, and involving Egypt, Israel, and Gaza's ruling Hamas authority, as per a diplomatic source.
Foreign governments have reported that individuals from 44 different countries and 28 agencies, including United Nations organizations, reside in the Gaza Strip. This densely populated coastal enclave, home to 2.4 million people, has faced over three weeks of continuous Israeli bombardment in response to Hamas attacks that started on October 7. The region has suffered from critical shortages of food, water, and electricity due to the extensive Israeli blockade.
As of now, Israel's airstrikes have resulted in the deaths of over 8,500 Palestinians, with approximately two-thirds of them being women and children, as reported by the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.