WHO flies Gaza health supplies to Egypt border

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The World Health Organization said Saturday enough basic health supplies to serve 300,000 people in the Gaza Strip have been flown to an Egyptian airport near the Palestinian enclave.

The supplies were ready to go in once humanitarian access could be established through the Rafah crossing from Egypt into the southern Gaza Strip, WHO said.

A plane carrying 78 cubic meters of health supplies from the UN health agency’s logistics hub in Dubai has landed in al-Arish Airport “to serve the needs of 300,000 people,” including pregnant women.

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“Every hour these supplies remain on the Egyptian side of the border, more girls and boys, women, and men, especially those vulnerable or disabled, will die while supplies that can save them are less than 20 kilometers (12 miles) away,” a statement said.

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza is the only passage in and out of the coastal enclave not controlled by Israel.

It has been closed since Tuesday after three Israeli strikes in less than 24 hours, which damaged the terminal on the Palestinian side.

The WHO supplies include enough medicines to treat 1,200 wounded patients and 1,500 patients suffering from heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory problems.

There are also enough trauma pouches to treat 235 wounded people, which enable injured people to be stabilized and receive immediate, life-saving care anywhere it is needed.

The WHO called for an immediate opening of a humanitarian crossing through Rafah to deliver food, fuel, water and other essential survival items.

“The critically injured, the sick, and the vulnerable cannot wait,” it said.

The first shipment of humanitarian aid arrived in al-Arish on Thursday from Jordan, Egyptian state-affiliated media reported.

The United Arab Emirates’ state news agency WAM said the UAE had sent a plane filled with medical aid to al-Arish on Friday.

Meanwhile three Turkish planes filled with humanitarian aid landed Saturday at al-Arish.

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