20231031 GAZA
Military personnel stand guard on the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Egypt is preparing to receive wounded Palestinians from the heavily bombarded Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing for medical treatment, medical and security sources said on Tuesday.

It comes amid unrelenting Israeli bombardment of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, with the health ministry in the besieged Palestinian territory saying more than 8,500 people have been killed, including over 3,500 children.

The strikes come in response to an October 7 attack in which Hamas militants infiltrated into southern Israel, killing 1,400 people, the majority civilians, according to Israeli officials.

"Medical teams will be present tomorrow (Wednesday) at the crossing to examine the cases coming (from Gaza) as soon as they arrive... and determine the hospitals they will be sent to," a medical official in Egypt's city of El Arish told AFP.

A security source at the Rafah crossing confirmed the information.

The state-affiliated Al-Qahera news channel said the Rafah crossing - the only one out of Gaza not controlled by Israel - would be opened on Wednesday to receive a number of wounded Palestinians.

The medical official added that a field hospital with an area of 1,300 square metres (about 14,000 square feet) would be built to receive the wounded Palestinians in the city of Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai, about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Rafah.

An AFP photographer on Tuesday saw a large number of ambulances gathered at the Egyptian side of the crossing.

The decision to open the crossing came hours after an Israeli strike on the largest refugee camp in Gaza, where 100 Palestinians were killed and 150 wounded according to reports.

Egypt on Tuesday condemned the strike on Jabalia camp "in the strongest terms", warning against "the consequences of the continuation of these indiscriminate attacks that target defenceless civilians" in a foreign ministry statement.