Egypt sends ambulances to evacuate Gaza wounded

Egypt sends ambulances to evacuate Gaza wounded
2 min read
At least 10 ambulances were sent by Egypt to transport Palestinians wounded by days-long indiscriminate Israeli bombardment on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Egypt sent ten ambulances through the Rafah crossing [Getty]
Egypt opened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza Saturday to allow 10 ambulances to transport Palestinians seriously wounded in Israeli airstrikes to Egyptian hospitals, medical officials said.

Egypt "exceptionally opened the Rafah crossing to allow 10 Egyptian ambulances into the Gaza Strip to transport wounded Palestinians... to be treated in Egypt," a medical official said.

An official at the Gaza border said the opening was "exceptional" because it is usually closed during public holidays including Eid al-Fitr, this year running from Wednesday to Sunday in Egypt.

On Friday, the Egyptian public health authority said the holiday was being suspended for some Egyptian doctors and nurses in preparation to receive "those coming from the Gaza Strip".

The Rafah border crossing is usually open on working days.

Health officials in Gaza say Israeli strikes have killed 145 people, including 41 children, since Monday. Around 1,100 others have been wounded.

Rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups have killed 10 people in Israel, including a child and a soldier, and have wounded over 560 Israelis.

The flare up in violence erupted after Israeli police launched vicious attacks against Palestinian worshippers in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and cracked down on protests against planned Israeli expulsions of Palestinians from their homes in annexed east Jerusalem.

Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry renewed his call for an "immediate ceasefire", after a phone call with his Saudi counterpart.

"Both ministers exchanged views on how to quickly remedy the situation in order to restore calm. Minister Shoukry discussed Egypt's latest efforts with all the concerned parties to ensure an immediate ceasefire and to end the bloodshed," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque and university, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, late on Friday launched a campaign on social media in "support the Palestinian people".

"Stop the killing," said Tayeb, who is head of the body considered the foremost religious institution for Sunni Muslims worldwide.

"Enough with silence and double standards if we are really working towards peace."

On Saturday, the head of the country's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, who represents the largest religious minority in the Middle East, lambasted "the brutal attacks in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip that have taken the innocent lives... of women and children".

Agencies contributed to this report.

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