The Palestinian health minister has called on the United States to exert pressure on Israel to open the Rafah crossing. This crossing is crucial for the delivery of humanitarian and medical supplies, and the minister expressed concern that Israeli authorities have not indicated any intention to reopen it in the near future.

Rafah was previously a vital entry point for humanitarian aid until Israel intensified its military offensive in Gaza and took control of the crossing from the Palestinian side. The closure of this crossing has had a significant impact on the World Health Organisation's ability to provide essential medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, which has been the target of Israeli attacks since October 7 following Hamas' actions in southern Israel.

Minister Majed Abu Ramadan, speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, emphasized the urgent need for international pressure, particularly from the United States, to reopen the crossing. He stressed that the closure of Rafah has created a dire and catastrophic situation, complicating relief efforts.

Despite an order from the International Court of Justice to cease its attacks on the city, Israel deployed its tanks into Rafah for the first time on Tuesday. The ongoing bombardment has prompted approximately one million people to flee the densely populated Gaza enclave over the past three weeks, seeking refuge from the relentless airstrikes, according to the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA).