The Rafah crossing between the bombarded Gaza Strip and Egypt reopened Monday to allow the evacuation of foreigners, dual nationals and wounded Palestinians, the Hamas government and an Egyptian official said.
The terminal was opened for three days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week to allow dozens of wounded Palestinians and hundreds of foreign passport holders to cross before closing Saturday and Sunday amid a dispute over the passage of ambulances.
Sources within the Hamas government said the crossing reopened after an agreement with Israel — secured with Egyptian mediation — to allow the evacuation of 30 wounded people.
Six ambulances arrived at the Egyptian side of the crossing Monday carrying wounded Palestinians to be transported to hospitals, a border official told AFP.
The ambulances were followed by the week’s first group of dual nationals, the Egyptian official added.
The White House on Sunday announced more than 300 Americans, US residents and their families had been evacuated from the Gaza Strip.
Around 100 British nationals were also able to exit the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing, the UK government said Monday.
Egypt has said it would help evacuate around 7,000 foreigners through the crossing.
The two-day closure of Rafah came after deadly Israeli strikes hit ambulances headed for the border, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent and the Hamas-run health ministry.
Egyptian Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said Cairo was “shocked that the ambulances were targeted while carrying wounded children… and women”.
Israel’s military said it had targeted an ambulance used by a “Hamas terrorist cell”.
The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said Monday the death toll from Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian territory had surpassed 10,000.
Israeli forces have stepped up their ground offensive in Gaza as part of the military response to the October 7 Hamas attacks that officials say killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, with more than 240 people taken hostage.