Gaza ministry calls for reopening Rafah crossing

Al-Bozum says thousands of Gazans are in bad need for crossing the border and travelling outside the Palestinian strip

Gaza ministry calls for reopening Rafah crossing

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Interior Ministry of the Gaza Strip on Saturday called on Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing to allow injured victims from the current Israeli onslaught to get medical treatment outside.

"Partial openings of the crossing come short of meeting the minimum humanitarian needs of our people amid Israel's blockade and aggression," ministry spokesman Eiad al-Bozum said in a press conference.

Gaza, which has become the target of an all-out Israeli war since July 7, has been reeling under an all-out Israeli blockade since 2006.

Making the effects of the blockade worse was a decision by Egyptian authorities to tighten control on Rafah crossing on Egypt's shared border with Gaza, and a subsequent crackdown on a network of smuggling tunnels in the border area.

Egypt has accused the Gaza-based resistance movement Hamas of interfering in its affairs.  

Al-Bozum said Egypt had reopened the border crossing over the past few days, but this reopening was far from enough.

He said only 18 injured victims from the current Israeli operation on Gaza managed to cross the border on the way to Egyptian hospitals to receive medical treatment.

At least 339 people have been killed and nearly 2390 injured in relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian health officials.

Since July 7, Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip, home to some 1.8 million Palestinians, with crippling air and naval bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire emanating from the strip.

On Thursday night, Israel stepped up its offensive to include ground operations, sending troops into the embattled coastal enclave.

Israel's military operation, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against Gaza in the last six years.

Al-Bozum said thousands of Gazans, including medical patients, students and those who have residences in other countries, are in bad need for crossing the border and travelling outside the Palestinian strip.

Qassam Brigades says killed 5 Israeli soldiers

Meanwhile, the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, said on Saturday that it killed five Israeli soldiers in the second such operation against the Israeli army in an area opposite the central part of the Gaza Strip.

The brigades said in a statement that select combat fighters managed to get behind the Sufa checkpoint through a tunnel and clash with Israeli soldiers, killing five of them.

It added that three soldiers were shot in the head, while the two remaining soldiers were shot in other body parts.

Qassam said its fighters had returned safely after the operation.

The brigades said earlier that its fighters had managed to kill six Israeli soldiers, destroy three military vehicles and seize two M16 rifles in the same area.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Temmuz 2014, 09:47

Muhammed Öylek