According to WHO, the Blockade of the Rafah Crossing has Prevented at least 2,000 Medical Evacuations from Gaza

According to WHO, the Blockade of the Rafah Crossing has Prevented at least 2,000 Medical Evacuations from Gaza

At least 2,000 patients could not have received medical evacuations due to the closure of the Rafah gate between Egypt and Gaza, according to a World Health Organization(WHO) official who called for the reopening of Rafah and other routes on Tuesday.

Approximately fifty essential patients left Gaza each day prior to the shutdown. As a result, since May 7th, at least 2,000 Palestinians have been unable to go outside of Gaza to seek medical attention, according to WHO representative for the West Bank and Gaza Rik Peeperkorn.

Earlier in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which started on October 7, the Rafah crossing served as the primary route for evacuations and humanitarian supplies. When Israel began an operation on the southern border of the Gaza Strip in May, it closed.

According to Egyptian security officials, discussions between the US, Egypt, and Qatar late last week focused on reopening the border and boosting humanitarian relief shipments. However, Rafah, where Egypt desires the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the restoration of Palestinian presence, is still closed.

Insecurity and logistical issues have made it difficult to pass through the nearby, Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, which Peeperkorn deemed risky.

According to Peeperkorn, at least 10,000 individuals in Gaza need to be evacuated; however, this number may not fully account for those in need of critical care due to chronic illnesses and war-related stress.

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