Egypt warns of security consequences due to Israeli operations in Rafah: Shoukry to Blinken

Ahram Online , Friday 10 May 2024

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday of security consequences that may arise due to the Israeli operations in the Palestinian border city of Rafah.

A combined images of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


According to a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry, Shoukry and Blinken discussed the security and humanitarian developments in the Palestinian border city of Rafah.

The two sides agreed on the potential “dangers and catastrophic humanitarian repercussions” of the Israeli military operations in Rafah – where more than 1.4 million Palestinians have been crammed since the start of Israeli aggression on the strip on 7 October.

During the call, both ministers categorically rejected the forced displacement of Palestinians from their land.

They also urged the parties involved in the ceasefire negotiations to “demonstrate flexibility and make the necessary efforts to reach a truce agreement.”

Such a deal would end the humanitarian tragedy in the Gaza Strip and allow full and sustainable access to humanitarian aid, Shoukry and Blinken concurred.

Minister Shoukry, on his part, stressed to Blinken the urgency of reaching a ceasefire as soon as possible, read the statement.

Israeli escalation

On Tuesday, Israel deployed tanks into Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and took control of the Palestinian side of the border crossing with Egypt.

Shortly after, Egypt strongly condemned the deployment and any Israeli control over the Palestinian side of the crossing.

In an official statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry stressed that this dangerous escalation threatens the lives of more than a million Palestinians who depend primarily on this crossing.

It emphasized that the Rafah border crossing serves as the "main lifeline" for aid to enter the Gaza Strip and a "safe outlet" for the wounded to receive treatment outside the strip.

Therefore, Cairo called on Israel to exercise utmost restraint and avoid pursuing a policy of brinkmanship that could have a long-term impact and abort the efforts exerted to reach a sustainable truce in the Gaza Strip.

The statement also called on all influential international parties to intervene, pressure against escalating the current crisis, and allow diplomatic efforts to achieve their desired results.

On Monday, the foreign ministry reaffirmed Egypt’s around-the-clock communication with all parties to prevent the situation from worsening or spiralling out of control.

Egypt, which borders Rafah and has a peace treaty with Israel, and Qatar, a US ally and a home to Hamas leaders, have taken the lead in the ceasefire negotiations.

Israel, whose brutal war on Gaza has continued for seven months, is facing growing international pressure to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.

Recent truce talks in Cairo, mediated by Egypt, Qatar, and the US, failed to reach a deal between Hamas and Israel to stop the war.

On Thursday, Hamas and Israeli delegations departed the Egyptian capital without reaching an agreement.

The Israeli army has killed 34,904 Palestinians and injured 78,514 others - most of them women and children since 7 October.

Israeli airstrikes have caused extensive damage to Gaza's infrastructure and displaced most of the strip’s residents.

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