Egypt refuses to allow entry to wounded Gazans

The Israelis had offered to allow “unlimited” numbers to cross the border for medical treatment.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Egypt has vetoed an Israeli plan to permit sick and wounded Gazans to leave through the Rafah border crossing to get medical care outside the war zone, the pro-Hezbollah Al-Akhbar newspaper has reported.

Cairo has been demanding that Israel allow Palestinians to regain control over the critical crossing ever since the IDF invaded the area first several weeks ago on its way to eradicate the last remaining Hamas battalions which were hiding in Rafah.

The army has discovered dozens of smuggling tunnels to Egypt as it solidified its command over the whole border area, called the Philadelphi Corridor, and is determined to shut down what it calls “Hamas’ oxygen pipeline” so the terrorist organization cannot resupply itself with weaponry to continue the war.

The Egyptian sources cited by the Lebanese daily complained that the IDF’s work “aim[s] to establish a fait accompli, especially after the complete destruction of the crossing from the Palestinian side, and the refusal to make arrangements for its reconstruction or enable Palestinian officials to fully manage it.”

Israel, said the report, would allow “unlimited” numbers of wounded Gazans to leave through the crossing.

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Cairo’s rejection of the idea accords with its policy throughout the war to severely limit the entry of Gazans, couching it in terms of not wanting to enable Israel to carry out a mass “expulsion.”

This includes its restricted humanitarian efforts.

In May, Sky News Arabic reported that according to the Egyptian Minister of Health, in the seven months that had passed in the ongoing war, when Hamas was claiming that tens of thousands of Gazans had been wounded by Israeli forces, Cairo’s “pivotal” role included receiving “5,500 injured and injured Palestinian brothers” in the country’s hospitals.

In addition, in a scathing February article, Al-Akhbar reported that the Hala travel agency, which according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an arm of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, was charging high prices for taking wounded Gazans into Egypt for treatment.

“Whereas at the beginning of the war [brokerage fees] were as high as $10,000 per person, in the last few months they gradually dropped, and last month they were $5,000 for a person over 12 and $500-$2,500 per child, depending on the number of people in the family,” said MEMRI’s translation of the article.

“According to sources in the Gaza Crossings and Borders Authority, during the war 800-1,500 people were allowed to pass every month using this brokerage [method],” the article noted.

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Egypt’s rejection comes while Arab media reported earlier this week that Israel has returned to its own long-held policy of allowing ill Gazans into the country for medical treatment.

Some of the kibbutz members slaughtered by Hamas and other terrorists on October 7 were active for years in transporting Gazans from the border to Israeli hospitals.

On Sunday evening, a group of Gazan children and their chaperones were filmed crossing into Israel at the Kerem Shalom checkpoint, some of whom are going further abroad for treatment.