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Egypt's ceasefire initiative for Gaza the 'only one on the table': FM

Egypt's foreign minister says the Egyptian initiative could still provide for a ceasefire, stopping the bloodshed, and moving towards lifting the siege on Gaza

Ahram Online, Saturday 19 Jul 2014
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, Thursday, July 17, 2014 in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Saturday that the Egyptian ceasefire initiative on Gaza is still the only initiative on the table, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Shoukry added, in a joint press conference on Gaza with his French counterpart, that Egypt did not review any other ceasefire initiative, whether from Turkey or Qatar.

Israeli forces are waging a ground offensive in Gaza, 12 days in to Operation Protective Edge that has killed over 300 Palestinians, mainly women and children.

The Egyptian initiative is also the only initiative, according to Shoukry, that was endorsed by the Arab League and the international community.

The foreign minister added that the initiative still provides opportunity for a ceasefire, stopping bloodshed for Palestinians, and moving towards lifting the siege on Gaza.   

The initiative also provides a framework for cooperation, to provide for the necessary needs of Palestinians in Gaza, Shoukry added.

Despite international and Israeli support for the initiative, Palestinian factions — including Hamas — have declared their rejection of it.

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