Egypt Says It Will Treat Injured Gazans in Its Hospitals

On the far side of the Sinai Peninsula, about a six-hour drive from Cairo through a largely empty Egyptian desert, the Rafah crossing is a dun-colored expanse of sand, concrete and not much else. Isolated from the rest of the Egypt by not only distance but also heavy military restriction, Rafah can feel as distant from world events as any place on the planet.

Yet over the last three weeks of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, Rafah has become the focus of heated negotiations, a place where many people, both powerful and powerless, have pinned their waning hopes. With Israel imposing a suffocating siege on the densely populated enclave, Rafah has become the only entry into the strip for aid to get to its population of 2.3 million people. So far, nothing and no one has been able to come out of Gaza.

But that may soon change: Egypt told the Gazan authorities that it would take in 81 seriously wounded people from Gaza and treat them in Egyptian hospitals on Wednesday, according to a statement from Gaza’s General Authority for Crossings and Borders.

Egypt’s control of the Rafah crossing has given it prominent status as one of Gaza’s main benefactors and an important player in the conflict, a position that analysts say could help it unlock more international financial support amid a crushing economic crisis in the North African nation. Egypt highlighted that role on Tuesday, when the government took reporters on a tightly controlled trip to Rafah.

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