Gaza wounded taken to Egypt as Cairo calls for 'concessions' for peace

Wounded Gazans were taken Sunday across the Rafah border crossing into Egypt for treatment, medical and border sources said, as Cairo's foreign minister called for "concessions" to end the current conflict with Israel.

Three convoys transporting a total of 263 Palestinians crossed into Rafah in the restive North Sinai region, the sources said.

They included people wounded in recent strikes, as well as travellers with serious ailments and students.

Egypt's Red Crescent in North Sinai said Sunday on its Facebook page that medical emergency teams had been dispatched at the Egyptian side to help transport victims.

Israel imposed a land and sea blockade on Gaza after Islamist group Hamas seized control of the coastal strip in 2007. 

Rafah is the only passage not controlled by Israel to the outside world for Gaza, a densely populated area of around two million Palestinians, half of whom live in poverty.

Egyptian authorities opened the crossing in February but it remains heavily secured and is usually closed during public holidays, including the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, this year running until the end of Sunday in Egypt.

Addressing the UN Security Council's virtual session on the crisis, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said Sunday that "concessions must be made in order to achieve peace".

Shoukry reiterated Cairo's call for an "immediate ceasefire" and urged the Security Council to "live up to its responsibility entrusted to it (by the international community) to solve the current crisis".

Earlier, Egypt's ambassador in Ramallah, Tarek Tayel, discussed with Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh Cairo's "tireless efforts... to provide humanitarian support to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

Israeli strikes killed more than 40 Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday, the worst reported daily death toll yet in the almost week-long fighting.

The strikes have come in retaliation to Palestinian group Hamas launching rockets on Israel, amid high tensions after Israeli police clashed with Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Topics: Gaza , Egypt , Conflict , Israel , Palestine , Red Crescent
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