President Sisi, UK PM Sunak underscore intensifying efforts to protect civilians in Gaza

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Oct 2023

Egyptian President Abel-Fattah El-Sisi and the UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak underscored in a phone call the importance of intensifying efforts aimed at reducing tension, and protecting civilians amid the Israeli war on Gaza, according to a statement by the presidential spokesman on Thursday.

Sisi, UK Sunak


During the phone call, President El-Sisi highlighted to PM Sunak Egypt’s ongoing efforts to de-escalate the crisis and avoid the blood-shedding of innocents, as per the statement.

Additionally, El-Sisi emphasized the necessity of ensuring the continuation of sending humanitarian and relief aid to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

Since Saturday, the Israeli airstrikes on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have left widespread destruction, hundreds killed and thousands injured, and displaced a quarter of a million people.

Israel has completely blockaded the Gaza Strip since Monday, cutting off all basic supplies, including food, water, and electricity.

The Israeli blockade has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in the strip, which has been under an Israeli siege since 2006. 

The UN humanitarian office has reported that the Israeli bombardment of Gaza has levelled 1,000 Palestinian homes since the start of Israel's retaliation for Hamas’ attack on Saturday, stressing that many in the territory face dire shortages of water, fuel, and medical supplies. 

Egypt's humanitarian role

On Thursday, Egypt called upon all countries and international and regional organizations willing to offer humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to route their aid to El-Arish International Airport, a facility designated by the Egyptian authorities for receiving international humanitarian assistance.

According to a statement by the foreign ministry, the Egyptian initiative directly responds to the ongoing and severe Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and aims to alleviate the suffering endured by the people of Gaza.

Egypt stresses that contrary to inaccurate information, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip remains operational and has not been closed since the onset of the current crisis, said the statement.

However, the statement noted that vital infrastructure on the Palestinian side of the border crossing has suffered damage due to recurrent Israeli airstrikes, disrupting its regular operation.

Egypt has urged Israel to refrain from targeting the Palestinian side of the crossing to facilitate restoration and rehabilitation efforts, enabling it to serve as a vital conduit to support our Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

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