Relief convoys which had been waiting in the Egyptian city of El Arish Tuesday headed towards the Rafah border crossing with the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, aid officials said.

"We have arrived at the terminal and are now waiting for the next step," said Heba Rashed, who runs the aid group Mersal. Hundreds more lorries were headed along the coast road for the 40 kilometre (25 mile) journey to Rafah, other aid officials said.