Threat from Israeli Operations Preventing Rafah Crossing Aid Deliveries, Says Egypt

The suspension of aid deliveries through the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is linked to the dangers posed to humanitarian work by Israel’s military operations in the area, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated on Monday.

“Now there is a military presence on the outskirts of the Rafah crossing and military operations that put aid convoys and truck drivers in danger,” Shoukry told reporters following a meeting with his Greek counterpart in Cairo. “The procedures resulting from Israeli military operations affect the operation of the Rafah crossing,” he added.

The Rafah crossing, located on Egypt’s 13km (8 mile) border with the Gaza Strip, has been inactive since Israel intensified its military offensive and took control of the crossing from the Gazan side on May 7.

This cessation has caused international aid deliveries to remain stuck on the Egyptian side of the border, raising concerns about the potential spoilage of food supplies. Parts of Gaza are at risk of famine after more than seven months of conflict.

Much of the aid delivered to Gaza since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began in October has come through Egypt, entering Gaza via Rafah or the nearby Kerem Shalom crossing on Israel’s border with the Palestinian territory.

Shoukry reiterated calls for Israel to open other land crossings to facilitate aid deliveries. “There are closed military crossings that should be used if there is real humanitarian concern about what is happening in Gaza,” he said.