Iran lashes out at Egypt for blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza, Rafah closed

Egyptian newspaper reports that Rafah crossing closed from the Palestinians side on Wednesday due to renewal of fighting between Israel and Gaza.

August 20, 2014 15:53
1 minute read.
Palestinians in Rafah

A Palestinian woman, hoping to cross into Egypt, cries as she waits with others at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip, August 12, 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, lashed out on Wednesday at Egypt for delaying its humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

“Egypt has not issued a permit for Iranian planes carrying aid to Gaza despite the fact that it is now a long time Tehran has asked for this,” Abdollahian told Iran’s Fars News Agency.

Regarding wounded Palestinian children that need medical care, he said, “We expect Egypt to urgently fulfill its duties in this regard.”

Abdollahian met last week with his Egyptian counterpart in Tehran to discuss the Gaza situation and ways to deliver aid.

Three weeks ago, Iran had criticized Egypt for delaying permits needed to deliver aid to Gaza and to transport wounded women and children out of the area for medical treatment.

Egypt’s government, at odds with Hamas, has long added its own border closure to an Israeli blockade, making some exceptions for humanitarian or other cases. It rejected the allegations of unnecessary delay.

“This is unacceptable. We hope Egypt will live up to its Arab, Islamic and humanitarian responsibilities against Zionist crimes in Gaza,” Abdollahian said at the time.

Meanwhile, the Rafah border crossing was closed for security reasons on Wednesday as the war between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza reignited.

An official source from the Egyptian side of the crossing told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm al-Sabaa in a report on Wednesday that the Rafah border crossing was closed from the Palestinian side because of the fear of being hit from Israeli bombardment, stopping traffic.

A total of 527 people passed through the crossing between Sinai and Gaza on Tuesday, the Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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