As trucks line up on the sides of the long road that goes straight to Gaza, they make calls back and forth to aid coordinators in Cairo who share their frustration. They have been told “today or tomorrow” until the border opens for five days.
As state-sanctioned protests rage across the Arab world after the deadly al Ahli hospital explosion in Gaza, Egypt is no exception.
President Abdel fattah el Sisi has called on people to protest in support of the Palestinian cause and the opening of the Rafah border crossing for aid transfer – a far cry from his usually heavy-handed disciplinary approach towards civil unrest.
While a schedule is being shared for a full day of nationwide protests on Friday, a smaller demonstration is happening at a critical junction.
Truck drivers have been told ‘today or tomorrow’ for five days
The volunteers tasked with getting much-needed humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip from Egypt are holding a sit-in at the Rafah border crossing.
In front of the gates, young men dressed in all black hold up a sign with the words “stationed until relief” painted across it. The day passes as they wait for the green light to come – even praying in the sun as war rages beyond the wall.
As the trucks line up on the sides of the long road that goes straight to Gaza, they make calls back and forth to aid coordinators in Cairo who share their frustration.
One of them is Heba Rashed, the CEO of the Mersal Foundation. Her organisation has been permitted to send trucks with critical care medication, surgical supplies, baby milk and body bags into Gaza.
Days have passed and nothing has got through.
Heba says she watches videos of hospitals brimming with casualties and cries every night knowing the aid is stuck at the border.