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Egypt set to receive wounded Palestinians

By Ians

Cairo, July 10: Egypt opened its Rafah crossing point bordering the Palestinian Gaza Strip on Thursday to receive Palestinians wounded in Israeli airstrikes, a security official at the crossing said.

More than 45 Egyptians who were stuck at the border after the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza along with the injured Palestinians were expected to arrive, but still no one showed up fearing the strikes, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Hospitals in Arish in North Sinai have been placed on alert with all necessary equipment and blood donation to treat the injured Palestinians, Egyptian Health Minister, Adel Adawi, said in a statement.

The minister added that more than 30 ambulances have been prepared at the border with emergency and intensive care teams to help the medical teams in North Sinai to provide the medical treatment in Arish and Sheikh Zuwid Hospitals.

Four other hospitals in Cairo were also ready to receive those in serious condition, the minister added.

The crossing, the only one for the Palestinian coastal enclave which has been under an Israeli blockade, is usually closed for security reasons as the restive Sinai peninsula has been witnessing a surge of attacks by hard-line militants against the police and army institutions of Egypt since the ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi a year ago.

In response, the army launched a massive operation to uproot the criminals' strongholds and combat terrorism in the Peninsula.

On Tuesday, Israel launched a massive aerial operation called Operation Protective Edge against the Gaza Strip, killing so far at least 76 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom were children and women. Israel said its operation was to reign in Gaza militants who fire rockets into Israel.

In a phone conversation, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Wednesday discussed ways to restore calm in the Gaza Strip and push the two sides toward a ceasefire.


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