Egypt sends 'reconstruction' convoy to bombed-out Gaza

Egypt sends 'reconstruction' convoy to bombed-out Gaza
1 min read
Sisi has pledged $500 million to help reconstruction efforts in densely populated Gaza, home to some two million people, and which was pummelled by Israeli air strikes last month.
Members of a Palestinian family wave Egyptian flags and hold up a portrait of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as they wait to receive the incoming Egyptian intelligence convoy. [Getty]

Egypt on Friday sent an aid convoy to neighbouring Gaza with diggers, trucks and cranes to "prepare the ground for reconstruction" of the bomb-battered Palestinian enclave, the government said.

"Following the directives of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, engineers and technical teams crossed the Rafah border point," read a statement from the government.

Egypt's heavily secured Rafah crossing is the Gaza Strip's only passage to the outside world not controlled by Israel.

Sisi has pledged $500 million to help reconstruction efforts in densely populated Gaza, home to some two million people, and which was pummelled by Israeli air strikes last month.

Egypt played a pivotal role in negotiating the May 21 ceasefire between Israel and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, that brought an end to 11 days of deadly fighting.

Photographs released by Egypt showed dozens of construction vehicles emblazoned with the Egyptian flag.

They will be used to "clear the rubble" of debris left after the strikes to "prepare the ground for reconstruction", the statement added.

Israeli strikes on Gaza killed 254 Palestinians, health officials said.

Rockets and other fire from Gaza claimed 12 lives in Israel, medics said.