Rafah border closure impedes medical treatment for Gaza’s injured

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Injured Palestinians in Gaza are unable to travel abroad for necessary medical treatment due to the closure of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, as Israel intensifies its military operations around Rafah.

Ni’ma Ali Imad, whose young son Mohammed lost his eyesight following a nearby strike, expressed despair while at the Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah.

“He has the right to treatment; he has the right to medical care,” Imad said, emphasizing the urgent need to reopen the border for humanitarian cases like her son’s so he can receive the required treatment and medication.

Abdul Rahim Al Ayoubi, another patient, described his plight at a central Gaza hospital, “I am suffering from the pain… There is no treatment in the hospital.” Al Ayoubi, injured while fetching a bag of flour, is now unable to receive further treatment.

As of Tuesday, Israeli tanks advanced deeper into residential areas of Rafah, a southern border city where over a million people have sought refuge. Concurrently, intense attacks are being reported in northern Gaza.

International allies and aid groups have repeatedly expressed concerns about a potential ground incursion into Rafah, a critical refuge area where Israel contends four Hamas battalions are located. According to Israeli authorities, the military action is necessary to eliminate the remaining fighters.

The Palestinian death toll in the ongoing conflict has now exceeded 35,000, as reported by Gaza health officials, who note that their casualty figures do not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

The current offensive by Israel followed an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas-led gunmen, who killed approximately 1,200 people and took over 250 hostages in communities near Gaza, according to Israeli reports.