An Israeli soldier walks next to an ammunition transport vehicle at their position by the border with the Gaza Strip, on May 16, 2021. PICTURE: JACK GUEZ / AFP
An Israeli soldier walks next to an ammunition transport vehicle at their position by the border with the Gaza Strip, on May 16, 2021. PICTURE: JACK GUEZ / AFP

Wounded Gazans evacuated to Egypt for treatment

By AFP Time of article published May 16, 2021

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More than 250 wounded Gazans were Sunday evacuated to Egypt for treatment, medical and border sources said, as Cairo called for "concessions" to end the territory's latest conflict with Israel.

Three convoys transporting a total of 263 Palestinians crossed the Rafah border post into Egypt's restive North Sinai region, the sources said.

Egypt's Red Crescent in North Sinai said on its Facebook page that medical emergency teams had been dispatched to help transport the casualties.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi instructed authorities to "open up Egyptian hospitals to receive the wounded from the Gaza Strip", state media reported.

Israel has enforced a land and sea blockade on Gaza since the Islamist group Hamas seized control in 2007 of the impoverished and densely populated territory that is home to about two million Palestinians.

Rafah is Gaza's only passage to the outside world not controlled by Israel.

Egyptian authorities opened the crossing in February but it remains heavily secured and is usually closed during public holidays, such as this week's Eid al-Fitr.

Addressing a UN Security Council's virtual session, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Sunday that "concessions must be made in order to achieve peace".

Shoukry reiterated Cairo's call for an "immediate ceasefire" and urged the Security Council to "live up to its responsibility" to help resolve the crisis.

In the West Bank, Egypt's ambassador in Ramallah, Tarek Tayel, met Palestinian premier Mohammed Shtayyeh and reiterated Cairo's "tireless efforts... to provide humanitarian support" to Gaza, the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

Israeli air strikes killed more than 40 Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday, the worst reported daily death toll yet in the almost week-long fighting.

The strikes have come in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, amid high tensions after Israeli police clashed with Palestinians in Al-Aqsa mosque compound in annexed east Jerusalem.

AFP

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