The Egyptian presidency, in response to US President Joe Biden’s statement, has said that Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing to enable the flow of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip since “the first moment” of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“Egypt has mobilised massive humanitarian aid and relief from itself and other countries,” the presidency said on Friday, adding that the persistent bombing of the Palestinian side of the crossing by Israel four times obstructed the aid delivery process, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Thursday, speaking to reporters, Biden said, “Initially, the president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open the gate to (allow) humanitarian material to get in,” mistakenly calling Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the leader of Mexico.
“Egypt endured immense pressure and challenges to smooth the inflow and increase the amount of aid to Gaza,” the statement stressed, adding that 80 per cent of the aid provided to Gaza came from the Egyptian government, people and civil societies.
The statement reiterated the Egyptian efforts to reach a ceasefire and protect the civilians.
Israel has been waging a massive military campaign against Hamas in Gaza since October 7, 2023, after the movement’s surprise attack on southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people.
The Israeli blockade and bombardment of Gaza have so far killed nearly 28,000 Palestinians, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said on Friday.
The aid trucks first entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing on October 21, 2023, while wounded people and foreign passport holders have been entering the Egyptian side since the beginning of last November.