(CNN) — Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told CNN on Saturday that the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is open, but that aerial bombardment has left roads on the Gaza side “inoperable.”
“The Rafah crossing is officially open on the Egyptian side, it has been open all the time. The problem with the roads is that they have been subjected to aerial bombardment. So, on the Gaza side, the roads are not in a condition that can receive vehicular traffic,” Shukri said.
Shukri added that if foreigners in Gaza are able to pass through the Rafah crossing, the Egyptian government will help facilitate flights to return them to their countries of origin. He explained: “If all procedures are followed and your documents are verified on the Gaza side for transit, we will provide you with all facilities in cooperation with your embassies to take you to the starting point from which you can return to your country.” Homeland “country of origin”.
The minister also said that Egypt had tried to send humanitarian aid to Gaza but had not received proper authorization to do so. “We have a large number of applications being processed,” he added.
Shukri said: “We are coordinating with the United Nations and UNRWA to request permission to cross these supplies through the Rafah crossing and hand them over to the United Nations for deployment, but we have not received permission to do so.”
The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt remained the only practical exit to get people out of the besieged Strip and bring in supplies. But it is not clear whether it is ready for action.
The US State Department had previously indicated that the Egyptian entry point “may be open” to Americans trying to leave Gaza, but local media reported that American citizens and other foreigners who arrived at the crossing were unable to exit Gaza on Saturday.
In the interview with CNN, Shukri also urged the protection of civilian lives in the conflict, saying: “We call for the need to respect international humanitarian law, and the need to address the concerns and very difficult circumstances that Palestinian civilians are going through.” Shukri said: “We need even greater protection.” “Civilians are not being attacked.”
“We have made it clear that we do not accept any kind of attacks against innocent civilians,” Shukri said.
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