RAFAH: Despite the Israeli shelling on Gaza near the border with Egypt, the Rafah border crossing remained open Monday to allow the transfer of aid and wounded Gazans but the pace was slow due to the bombing.
In mid-afternoon, there was shelling and bombing close to the border, three shells on the first occasion and five the second time at close proximity at five-minute intervals.
From a vantage point on the Egyptian side of Rafah, it was apparent that Rafah on the Gaza side is without electricity and early in the evening thuds of bombs exploding could be heard on the border town.
Meanwhile Egypt intensified its security presence on the Egyptian side of the border, with central security forces present throughout the city. There were also constant floodlights on the Egyptian side border searching for any possible breaches by Palestinians.
Aid convoys were stuck in front of the crossing Monday morning, possibly due to the shelling, but in the afternoon three or four trucks managed to enter through the Gaza gate, all carrying medical supplies.
There were convoys from Qatar and Turkey. Seven wounded came in from Gaza and 10 more were expected by medical officials inside the crossing.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki told Al Jazeera in the early hours of Monday that the Rafah crossing would remain open for humanitarian reasons, as has been the case since Israel began air strikes.
Zaki said that the crossing was only closed since the beginning of the conflict because Hamas was keeping their side of the gate closed, a claim that Hamas has denied. -Additional reporting by Jon Jensen.