Egypt not taking Gaza humanitarian crisis 'seriously'
Published Thursday 09/01/2014 (updated) 10/01/2014 16:08
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities are not taking the humanitarian crisis in Gaza seriously, a Gaza official said Thursday, as ongoing closures of the Rafah crossing prevent people from leaving the coastal territory.
"Egypt should stick to its nationalistic and humanitarian responsibility toward the population of the Gaza Strip. We hereby send a message to all the free people of the world and to the Egyptian authorities on behalf of the besieged children, women and elderly people of Gaza," Undersecretary of Gaza's Ministry of Interior Kamil Abu Madi said.
Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing on Wednesday for two days, which is insufficient time for Palestinians who need to travel urgently for medical treatment or for foreign passport holders, he added.
If the Rafah crossing faces ongoing closures the humanitarian situation in Gaza will get worse and residents will face more restrictions, Abu Madi said.
After former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July by the military, Egypt has repeatedly closed the Rafah border crossing and destroyed hundreds of tunnels that Gazans had used for years to bring in fuel, building materials, and other goods.
The Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza's 1.7 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by Israel beginning in 2007. The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gaza residents.