Rafah crossing linking war-torn Gaza to Egypt opens

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt has opened for the first time since the Israel-Hamas war erupted.

More than 500 foreign nationals as well as dual citizens will be allowed to leave the enclave, the Gaza Borders and Crossings Authority said in a statement verified by Al Jazeera’s Sanad Agency.

The list of the people allowed to cross were published by the authority that called on them to head towards the crossing on Wednesday morning at 7am local time (05:00GMT).

According to earlier reports, dozens of injured Palestinians, needing medical treatment in Egypt, will also be allowed to leave the enclave.

Convoys of desperately needed aid have been trickling in Gaza through Rafah since last month but no people had been allowed through the crossing until Wednesday.

Queues formed on Wednesday morning at the terminal. After being allowed into the terminal area, huge queues formed around crossing booths for checks on passports and other documents.

Ambulances waited on the Egyptian side to take away the wounded and sick.

Al Jazeera’s Hatim Omar, reporting from the Rafah crossing, said that ambulances were still waiting and nobody had been allowed to leave Gaza yet.

Trucks carrying aid were also waiting on the Egyptian side of the crossing, he said.

The zone around the terminal has been hit during Israeli air raids on Gaza after the October 7 attacks which Israeli authorities say left 1,400 dead, mostly civilians. Another 240 people were taken as captives.

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