Egypt slams Iranian claims of delaying Gaza aid

Palestinian children, who fled their families' houses following an Israeli ground offensive, receive bags of bread from United Nations (U.N.) workers at a U.N.-run school in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 19, 2014.

Palestinian children, who fled their families’ houses following an Israeli ground offensive, receive bags of bread from United Nations (U.N.) workers at a U.N.-run school in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 19, 2014.

Despite accusations that Egypt obstructed Palestinians’ access to medical treatment in Tehran, an Egyptian Foreign Ministry official Wednesday denied the claims, according to Egypt’s state news agency MENA.

Iran criticized Egypt on Wednesday for delays in issuing permits to bring in aid to Gaza and to transport wounded women and children out of the area for medical treatment, Reuters reported.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday 100 tons of humanitarian aid had been waiting for days for Egypt’s approval to be taken into Gaza.

“This is unacceptable. We hope Egypt would hold up to its Arab, Islamic and humanitarian responsibilities against Zionist crimes in Gaza,” he told the official IRNA news agency.

However, an Egyptian diplomat said Iranian officials did not allocate enough time to obtain the necessary permits to enter the Rafah border crossing.

Cairo had reportedly received a request from Tehran on Thursday night to allow a civilian airplane to land in Egypt loaded with medical aid for the people of Gaza – where a 24 day-old Israeli offensive has killed more than 1,200 Palestinians – the ministry source said.

Officials in Tehran said that the plane loaded would land in Cairo a few hours later and also requested on Saturday that a convoy from the Iranian Red Crescent, representatives from parliament in addition to a medical team all be allowed into Gaza.

They also said they are willing to fly Palestinians in need of medical attention back to Tehran.

Egyptian authorities were alerted to Tehran’s requests and began processing the necessary permits as per the rules that operate the Rafah Crossing, the source told MENA.

 
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