(JTA) — Hamas has opened the Rafah border crossing with Egypt to some wounded people and foreign citizens as its war with Israel has escalated.
It was the first of a series of planned openings of the crossing during the war, which has killed more than 8,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. Five hundred people were expected to be permitted to pass through on Wednesday; trucks carrying humanitarian supplies have entered Gaza through the same point over the last week.
Thirteen Israeli soldiers have died in Israel’s invasion of the territory, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
The war began after Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, which killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, wounded thousands and took some 240 people captive.
Israel’s stated goal in the war is to dismantle Hamas’ military and governing capacity. On Tuesday, according to Haaretz, Israeli airstrikes killed a senior Hamas official in the Jabalya refugee camp near Gaza City, an area that is a stronghold of the terror group. Hamas said the strike killed dozens of people. Israel targeted the same area again on Wednesday.
Since Oct. 7, Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have shot thousands of missiles at Israeli cities, as have terror groups in Lebanon and Yemen. Violence has also escalated in the West Bank, where more than 100 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the war.