The Gaza border crossing is set to reopen as Israeli forces prepare for a ground offensive

  • The latest developments
  • Blinken says that the Rafah crossing will be reopened to allow humanitarian aid to enter
  • It is expected that the fuel reserves in all hospitals throughout the Gaza Strip will last only about 24 additional hours – according to the United Nations
  • It is estimated that more than 1,000 people are missing under the rubble in the Gaza Strip
  • Israel says 600,000 Palestinians have left northern Gaza

CAIRO/WASHINGTON/GAZA (Reuters) – An Egyptian-controlled border crossing into Gaza is expected to reopen amid diplomatic efforts to deliver aid to the enclave controlled by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which has been under intense Israeli bombardment since the movement’s attack that killed 1,300 people. . People on October 7th.

Shocked by the assault on towns and villages, Israel carries out the heaviest bombing Gaza has ever seen, imposes a strict blockade, and continues. Preparing for a ground invasion.

Hundreds of metric tons of aid provided by several countries have been detained in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula for several days awaiting an agreement to safely deliver it to Gaza and evacuate some foreign passport holders through the Rafah crossing.

The US Secretary of State said: “The Rafah crossing will be reopened. We are working with the United Nations, Egypt, Israel and others to develop a mechanism through which assistance can be brought in and delivered to the people who need it.” Anthony Blinken said after his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday.

Blinken did not give a specific time to reopen the crossing. Blinken said that veteran US diplomat David Satterfield, who was appointed on Sunday as special envoy for humanitarian issues in the Middle East, would arrive in Egypt on Monday to work out the details.

NBC News, citing a Palestinian official, reported that the Rafah border crossing will open at 9 a.m. on Monday. ABC News reported, citing a security source, that the crossing would be open for a few hours on Monday, without providing details. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm either report.

Israel was urged and exhausted Gazans will leave the southThis is what hundreds of thousands have already done in the besieged enclave, which is inhabited by more than two million people. Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, asked people to ignore Israel’s message.

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Palestinians in Gaza said that Israel’s overnight bombing campaign was the heaviest since it launched its retaliatory attacks last week. They added that the bombing was particularly intense in Gaza City, where air strikes hit the areas surrounding major hospitals in the city.

Fuel reserves in all hospitals across the Gaza Strip are expected to last only about another 24 hours, putting thousands of patients at risk, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Monday.

Authorities in Gaza said that at least 2,670 people have been killed so far in Israeli retaliatory attacks, a quarter of them children, and nearly 10,000 have been injured. Another 1,000 people are missing and believed to be under the rubble.

US government officials say they are mobilizing to help ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, anticipating a brutal ground offensive.

President Joe Biden has urged Israel to follow the laws of war in its response to Hamas attacks, saying Sunday in a social media post that “the overwhelming majority of Palestinians have nothing to do with the horrific Hamas attacks and are suffering as they are.” As a result of them.”

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday, Biden said Israel needed to eliminate Hamas, but warned that it would be a mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza.

Washington is also focused on avoiding an extension of the conflict, especially with the escalation of clashes with Lebanon on Israel’s borders.

Blinken said that the leaders of the Arab countries he visited across the region in recent days are determined to prevent the spread of war.

“They are using their influence and their own relationships to try to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Blinken, who is scheduled to return to Israel on Monday and is also seeking to secure the release of 155 hostages, including Americans. Israel says Hamas returned it to Gaza.

Iran, which supports Hamas and Hezbollah, warned Israel of escalation if it continued to attack the Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said: “If the Zionist attacks do not stop, the hands of all parties in the region will be on the trigger,” adding that Tehran cannot remain a mere observer.

A ground attack is expected

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an expanded emergency government in Israel on Sunday, including former opposition lawmakers, in a show of unity. He said, “Hamas thought we would be demolished. We are the ones who will demolish Hamas.”

The Israeli army, which has massed its tanks on the Gaza border in preparation for a ground attack, says it is targeting Hamas and its infrastructure in retaliation.

The army said that on Sunday, Israeli aircraft bombed about 250 military targets, killing the commander of Hamas’s southern region.

Israeli army commander Lieutenant-General Herzi Halevy told soldiers near the Gaza border that they would enter Gaza to eliminate Hamas and target “every place, every commander and every operator.”

“You are about to do something big and important, which needs to change the situation for a long time in a clear way,” Halevy said.

Humanitarian crisis

An Israeli blockade is preventing fuel, food and water from entering Gaza, a minister said on Sunday, even though Netanyahu agreed with Biden to resume water supplies to parts of southern Gaza.

The Israeli army said that about 600,000 Gazans had left the northern half of the Strip, which includes the population of Gaza City, which numbers more than a million people.

Some Palestinians who went south said they were returning north because they were attacked wherever they went.

Palestinian media reported that Israeli aircraft bombed areas surrounding Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City early Monday, and ambulances in the hospital were unable to move due to the raids.

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On Saturday, Israel gave the hospital an evacuation warning, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, which said it could not transfer the sick and wounded outside the facility.

Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Affairs (UNRWA), said that the UN relief operations in Gaza are “on the verge of collapse.”

“The number of people seeking shelter in our schools and other UNRWA facilities in the south is very large, and we no longer have the capacity to deal with them,” he said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Hatem Maher, Ahmed Tolba and Omar Abdel Razek in Cairo, Nandita Bose, Rami Ayoub and Katherine Jackson in Washington, Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza, Ari Rabinovitch, Dan Williams, Henriette Shuker, Didi Huynh and Mayan Lobel) Emily Rose, James McKenzie and John Davison in Jerusalem, and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai , and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by Simon Lewis. Editing by Lisa Shoemaker and Stephen Coates

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Humeyra Pamuk is a senior foreign policy correspondent based in Washington, DC. She covers the US State Department, and regularly travels with the US Secretary of State. During her 20 years with Reuters, she had postings in London, Dubai, Cairo and Turkey, where she covered everything from the Arab Spring and the civil war in Syria to several Turkish elections and the Kurdish insurgency in the country’s southeast. In 2017, she won the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship at Columbia University’s School of Journalism. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in European Union studies.

A senior correspondent with nearly 25 years of experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including several wars and the signing of the first historic peace agreement between the two sides.

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