Egypt has finally given in to pressure from the United States, Qatar and Israel and yesterday opened the Rafah border crossing for the first time since the beginning of the war, the only one not controlled by Israel, which allowed the evacuation in ambulances of 81 wounded Palestinians. and the departure on their own feet of between 320 and 325 foreigners or Palestinians with dual nationalities, as relieved as they were witnesses of the horror they left behind.
“I have shrapnel from a shell on my back and burns all over my body. Everything is destruction, no one can imagine it. There is no food or water,” Adel Mohamed, from the El Bouseij refugee camp, one of the injured evacuated, told Egyptian television.
Pressure from Qatar and the US has reversed Egypt’s historic refusal to welcome Palestinians from Gaza
Opening and closing eyes in the face of death, that’s how it was these days, said a Palestinian doctor with American nationality after gaining Egyptian territory. Among those who left the Strip are all the international staff of Doctors Without Borders, 22 people, among them the Valencian anesthetist Raúl Incertis, 40, the only Spaniard who has been able to leave Gaza, a group that was heading to Cairo.
The diplomatic commitment to various parties – not all of them speak to each other – admits that the evacuations of the wounded will continue, as well as the nearly 7,500 Palestinians with dual nationality, a list that Israel supervises. The Egyptian president, Al Sisi, had resisted opening Rafah even in “modest” numbers given the population trapped in the south of the Strip, where there are 800,000 displaced people from the north.
Historically, Egypt has wanted to distance itself as much as possible from its Palestinian neighbors, which is why in the historic Camp David agreements of 1978 – Egypt was the first Arab country to recognize Israel – it ignored the return of Gaza, whose administration it exercised before the Six Day War of 1967. He did demand and achieved the return of the Sinai Peninsula.
With this agreement, Qatar reaffirms itself as an essential intermediary in the region – a powerful gentleman is a gift of money – while the United States corroborates its determination to “humanize” this war and alleviate the suffering of the two million Gazans to, among other reasons, avoid that the conflict overwhelms the region, inflames Muslims and there are Islamist attacks in the rest of the world. On the eve of another visit to the region by the US Secretary of State, a spokesperson assured that Antony Blinken “will be very direct about this”, that is, about the obligation to minimize the deaths and hardships of civilians in the Strip. .
The compensation and economic aid to Egypt have been decisive for the selective reopening of Rafah, according to diplomatic sources in Israel, as well as Washington’s commitment that there will not be a massive entry of Palestinians, despite the option for space and proximity to the peninsula. of Sinai, which would please Israel so much. “There will be no permanent Palestinian settlements in Egypt,” the White House said yesterday through national security spokesman John Kirby. Washington’s other message of the day echoes a widespread sentiment even among many West Bank Palestinians: Hamas can have no political role in post-war Gaza.
Egypt’s reluctant gesture was echoed in Jordan, whose government refuses to accept more Palestinian refugees, the majority “minority” of the Hashemite kingdom. The ambassador to Israel left the country in disagreement with the Gaza war.
The twenty-sixth day of the conflict, although the ground phase began on Friday night, confirmed the Israeli determination to attack Hamas commanders wherever they are, even in highly populated environments. For the second consecutive day, the Yabalia refugee camp received a powerful bomb, without the number of victims being known. The attack was carried out “in accordance with precise intelligence” and with the objective – achieved – of eliminating Mohamed Asar, one of those responsible for Hamas’ anti-tank defense.
Israelis have begun to see and honor their first casualties in the conflict, which promises to be very costly in lives. If on Tuesday the deaths in combat were two, yesterday they rose to fifteen. The Israel Defense Forces claim that they are fighting “at the gates of Gaza City”, information that they accompany with images of troop movements. The Israeli population seems prepared to accept a high number of casualties, even in the case of an army that thrives on young people doing military service. October 7 rules.