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Evacuations at the Rafah border crossing have been put on hold following an airstrike that targeted an ambulance in Gaza. The strike, which occurred on Friday, was said by the Israeli military to have involved a vehicle transporting Hamas militants, a claim that Israel has not provided proof of yet.
The Rafah crossing, leading into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, remains the sole escape not under Israeli control, where typically injured Gazans and foreign nationals with passports can exit the blockaded enclave.
Despite the suspension of evacuations, aid trucks continue to enter Gaza, according to Egyptian sources. US, Egyptian, and Qatari officials are actively working to resume the safe passage of individuals.
A US State Department official, requesting anonymity, indicated hope for the crossing’s reopening while acknowledging the situation’s volatility. As the cessation of crossings was attributed to bombings in Gaza, Egyptian representatives underscored their commitment to re-establishing movement through the crossing.
Qatar’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Majed Al Ansari, highlighted the importance of respecting the terms of the agreement that facilitates medical evacuations and called for the protection of safe routes.
The United Nations Secretary-General and various aid agencies have denounced the attack on the ambulance, underscoring the importance of safe medical evacuations in conflict zones.