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Source: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
2 August 2004

The Red Cross/Red Crescent assists over 2500 people stranded at Rafah Terminal

The Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS), with assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is providing tents, food parcels, hygiene installations and fans to over 2500 people stranded on the Egyptian side of the closed Rafah Terminal, on the southern border of the Gaza Strip.

At the same time the ICRC is making representations to the relevant Israeli and Palestinian authorities to allow the people, who have been blocked at Rafah for up to 12 days, to cross into the Gaza Strip as soon as possible.

For nearly two weeks, ERCS volunteers, working closely with local Egyptian authorities, have been assisting the group stranded at the border, which includes women, children and elderly people, with basic relief and medical assistance. Additionally, a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) medical doctor has been helping the ERCS respond to medical emergencies.

At the request of the ERCS, ICRC and North Sinai Governorate officials accompanied ERCS representatives to the Rafah border crossing area, to assess the situation further. In view of the severe humanitarian conditions caused by temperatures in excess of 35 degrees and the lack of hygiene and basic infrastructure for those stranded in and around the terminal, the ICRC decided to provide this immediate additional relief, which will be distributed by the ERCS along with their other support activities.

The ICRC will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation, and provide assistance if needed, until the stranded people are able to cross into the Gaza Strip.

For further information, please contact:
Gasser El Shahed, ICRC Cairo, tel: +202 337 9282/+202 761 9332
Simon Schorno, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 956 371

Iyad Nasr, ICRC Gaza, tel: +972 82 828 874

Rana Sidani, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 251 93 18

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