Palestinians and truckloads of medical aid crossed Egypt’s border with Gaza on Wednesday, opened in response to Israel’s attack on a Gaza—bound aid flotilla.
Egyptian security sources at the crossing in the border town of Rafah said 400 Palestinians holding paperwork granting them entry to Egypt and other Arab countries entered Egypt.
In addition, 150 Palestinians who had received medical treatment in Egyptian hospitals returned to Gaza.
The Arab Doctors Union sent 25 trucks loaded with medical aid and supplies across the border into Gaza.
President Hosni Mubarak ordered the border crossing open on Tuesday to allow food and medical supplies into the besieged strip.
For the first time, he did not specify how long the border would remain open.
The announcement came in response to Israel’s attack on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza on Monday, in which by official Israeli accounts nine activists of different nationalities were killed.
Israel and Egypt closed the Gaza Strip’s borders after Hamas took control of the territory’s security forces in 2007. According to the international charity Oxfam, the volume of humanitarian supplies entering the Gaza Strip is now at 32 per cent of the average before the blockade.
Egypt has occasionally opened the border for three— or four—day periods to allow people and aid to pass back and forth.