Egypt’s president reiterates need for urgent halt of violence against Gaza amid growing tensions

Ahram Online , Monday 17 May 2021

El-Sisi said "we are exerting efforts and hope always exists that all of us move to end this conflict.”

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
A snap shot of the President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as he speaks with France 24 on Sunday, May 16, 2021.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reiterated the need for a halt of acts of violence and killing in the Gaza Strip amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian fighting, saying “calm must return very urgently”.

El-Sisi, who is currently in a visit to Paris, told France 24 that “we are exerting efforts and hope always exists that all of us move to end this conflict.”

The president arrived in France on Sunday to take part in a Paris conference to support Sudanese transition, and also a summit on financing African economies, which are going to be held on 17 and 18 May respectively.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza over the past week have killed 198 Palestinians, including 58 children and 34 women, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said on Sunday.

The airstrikes come as rockets from the Palestinian factions in Gaza toward Israel continues. with some 3,000 rockets fired , killing 10 Israelis.

Egypt’s calls for ceasefire and its diplomatic moves seeking de-escalation since the fighting has started has not yet yielded positive results on the ground.

Late Thursday, an Egyptian delegation - sent to Israel in an attempt to broker an immediate ceasefire in Gaza - left after Israel rejected Cairo's mediation efforts for the ceasefire.

Egypt is engaged in extensive talks with the Palestinian and Israeli sides to reach a ceasefire in the Palestinian territories, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez told Al Jazeera Arabic news channel on Saturday.

The fighting started when Hamas fired rockets against Israeli cities as a retaliatory move over the Israeli assaults against worshippers and protesters in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Protests around Al-Aqsa and in Jerusalem were sparked by the planned eviction of Arab residents in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

The United Nations Security Council and the League of Arab States have both held meetings on the Israeli-Palestinian tensions last week.

As the Security Council concluded its meeting without a concrete outcome, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry strongly criticised the Security Council for turning a blind eye on the matter.

The Cairo-based Arab League after the meeting said in a communique it strongly condemns the Israeli actions in Jerusalem and voiced full solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The Arab League announced a number of decisions that seek to halt the Israeli agression including calling on the International Criminal Court to proceed with its planned probe into Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity against unarmed Palestinians.

It also formed a seven-member ministerial committee tasked with lobbying permanent members of the Security Council and other influential states to take steps to halt Israeli aggression in East Jerusalem.

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