Rafah, Egypt, Oct 21 (EFE).- The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza finally reopened on Saturday to facilitate the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged Palestinian enclave.
The Gaza Strip has endured two weeks of devastating Israeli bombings and has been under a crippling blockade for the past 15 years.
The Israeli military intensified its blockade and attacks on the enclave in response to a multi-pronged surprise attack by hundreds of Islamist Hamas militants on Israel on Oct.7.
The crossing point reopened after a week of intense diplomacy involving the United States, Israel, Egypt, and the United Nations as Palestinians ran short of food, medicine and water under an Israeli blockade.
Hundreds of volunteers and trucks have queued up for several days at the border crossing, connecting Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, to access the strip as Israeli military rained bombs on the enclave to dismantle the Hamas network.
The Egyptian state channel, Al Qahera News, reported that the first shipment, consisting of 20 trucks, successfully crossed the Rafah border on Saturday morning.
The trucks carried essential supplies, including food, medical resources, medicines, and various humanitarian aid destined for the people of Gaza.
US President Joe Biden, who recently visited Israel amid the conflict with Hamas, had promised that the initial convoy of 20 trucks would be allowed entry through the Rafah border crossing.
The Egyptian Red Crescent coordinated with Egyptian authorities to ensure the smooth passage of the initial aid shipment into Gaza.
According to Al Jazeera, five of the 20 trucks have already been unloaded.
Images broadcast by the private Egyptian network, ExtraNews, captured the heartwarming scene of aid volunteers applauding and expressing their joy.
The reopening offered a much-needed respite after days of waiting to provide assistance to the besieged Palestinian enclave where thousands have died and thousand more wounded in Israeli military rampage.
Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes against Hamas, the armed Islamist group that controls Gaza, had damaged the crossing.
Egyptian aid volunteers worked diligently to repair the road damaged by Israeli bombings.
The humanitarian effort offers a ray of hope amid the ongoing challenges faced by the people of Gaza.
The reopening of the Rafah border crossing coincides with an international summit held in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, located 50 km from Cairo, aimed at addressing the Middle East conflict following the recent escalation of violence.
The summit convenes under the leadership of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and is expected to be attended by leaders from around the world.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Jordanian King Abdullah II are among the expected attendees. EFE