Rafah border opened for injured, Israel prepares for land attack
The Rafah border crossing with Gaza - YOUM7 (Archive)
By NOURHAN MAGDI

CAIRO: Egyptian authorities opened Thursday the Rafah border to receive Palestinians injured amid mounted Israeli strikes on the Gaza strip; while Israel prepares for a potential land attack, according to news reports.

Although Egypt condemned the current conflict and killing of civilians, it delayed the opening of the Rafah border until Thursday, when 30 ambulance vehicles were deployed to transfer the injured to hospitals for treatment, said Egyptian Minister of Health Adel Adawy to CBC TV Channel Thursday.

Youm7 also reported 15 tons of medical requirements were sent from Egypt to Gaza. Tens of youth from Arish, Rafah Sheikh Zuweid and Be’r el-Abd cities formed volunteering teams to receive the injuries and to donate blood.

Three consecutive days of Israeli strikes on Gaza Strip have left over 70 Palestinians killed and hundreds injured amid the “Operation Protective Edge” initiated by the Israeli IDF. The operation on Gaza Strip was announced in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers as Israel blamed the militant Palestinian group Hamas for their deaths.

Hamas, in response, has reportedly shot back dozens of rockets into Israel, most of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome. Hamas claimed responsibility for the launched rockets, noting it had been attempting to hit the nuclear reactor Dimona Wednesday.

The Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned that the operation against Hamas would be expanded and the attacks would be long-term saying, “The price the organization will pay will be very high,” according to USA Today Wednesday.

The Israeli army has summoned about 20,000 of reserve forces to prepare a potential land attack, reported DPA Thursday.

The IDF announced hitting over 500 targets including infrastructure sites, reported the Jerusalem Post Thursday. It noted that 80 Gazan targets were hit in less than 30 minutes.

A number of governmental sites and buildings were reportedly attacked by the IDF including: the Gaza governorate’s building headquarters south east Gaza City; Public Prosecution’s building; Interior Ministry’s building; Naval police as well as Interior Security headquarters in Rafah.

The United States, the United Nations Security General and the European Union condemned Tuesday ongoing rocket fire into Israel and called on both sides of the conflict to halt aggressions.

The Arab League, Turkey, Iran, Egypt and other Arab countries condemned the attacks on Gaza and the killing of civilians, and some countries have urged the United Nations to take action.

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