“Rafah will be opened”, said Blinken, speaking to journalists who accompanied him after meeting in Cairo with the Egyptian President, Abdelfatah al-Sisi.
“We are defining, in cooperation with the UN, Egypt, Israel and others, a mechanism to bring aid to those who need it,” said the head of US diplomacy, in a statement released by the State Department.
The United States had reached an agreement with Egypt, Israel and Qatar so that hundreds of foreigners and Palestinians with passports from other countries would be allowed to leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing on Saturday, including US citizens and Europeans.
However, after the announcement of the agreement, the Egyptian authorities announced that they would not authorize the entry into their country of foreigners from Gaza, if humanitarian aid was not previously allowed to enter their country for the 2.2 million people crammed into that poor Palestinian territory. , since 2007 controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas.
Humanitarian aid, including medicines for hospitals in the Gaza Strip, is now waiting to be authorized to cross from Egypt to that enclave through the Rafah crossing, the only access that is not controlled by Israel and which connects it to the Peninsula of Egyptian Sinai.
While the US, Canada and other countries try to remove their citizens from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Armed Forces appear to be preparing for a ground offensive, although the exact date of that operation is not yet known.
However, Israeli soldiers are concentrated near the border with the Gaza Strip and the Government has issued an ultimatum to the 1.1 million Palestinians living in the north of the enclave to move to the south — an action vehemently condemned by the Arab community and by the UN.
Israel has been on high alert since October 7, when Palestinian fighters from the Islamist movement Hamas attacked the south of the country on several fronts from the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and capturing another 155, held in captivity in Gaza and some of them killed in the meantime — according to Hamas, by Israeli bombings.
It was an offensive supported by the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and the Palestinian branch of Islamic Jihad.
In the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas – a group classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel – and to which Israel imposed a total siege, cutting off water, fuel and electricity supplies, strong Israeli retaliation killed so far more than 2,670 people, including more than 700 children, and injured at least 9,600.
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