Egypt, Cyprus presidents warn of repercussions of Gaza conflict on regional stability

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 17 Oct 2023

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Cypriot counterpart, Nikos Christodoulides, warned of repercussions of the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip on regional stability.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (R) and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides (L). Compiled photos


In a phone call, El-Sisi and Christodoulides highlighted the danger posed by the intense humanitarian implications on civilians, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said in a statement on Tuesday.

El-Sisi briefed Christodoulides on Egypt's unwavering efforts to achieve calm in Gaza as well as delivering humanitarian aid to residents of the strip.

Gaza has been under heavy, unrelenting Israeli airstrikes over the past 10 days, killing more than 2,700 Palestinian people in the deadliest war in the enclave's history. A resolution proposed by Russia calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was rejected by the UN Security Council on Monday night.

The Gaza strikes came after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel by land, air and sea, killing more than 1,300 in Israel and taking dozens more hostage.

Conflict expansion

Hamas said on Monday that it holds 200-250 or more Israeli hostages and noted that it captured some foreign nationals unintentionally during the operation, who are treated as "guests" and will be released "when field circumstances allow."

In parallel, Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon have been exchanging fire along the border and the Israeli military said it has targeted infrastructure connected to the armed group.

Israel vows a devastating response if Hezbollah gets involved in the Gaza conflict, while Hezbollah legislator Hassan Fadlallah said on Sunday that the group's next step “is tied to what is going on in Gaza.”

Furthermore, Iran, which backs both Hezbollah and Hamas, has warned Israel of consequences if it continued to target Gaza, state TV reported on Monday.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran expects a "preemptive action" by the resistance front "in the coming hours."

Forced displacement

Israel has displaced most of the 1.1 million Palestinians residing in northern Gaza toward southern Gaza, which borders Egypt, in preparation for Israeli ground operations against the enclave.

While Egypt has received tons of humanitarian aid from many countries in North Sinai's El-Arish, Israel has not allowed the entry of the aid through the Rafah border crossing which connects Gaza with Sinai.

Egypt has called for urgent humanitarian aid access to Gaza, warning that the displacement of Palestinians toward the south is further worsening the enclave's dire humanitarian situation and exposing civilians to the risk of homelessness.

Cairo has also warned against Israeli schemes to relocate Gazans to Sinai, affirming that this will bring the curtain down on the Palestinian cause.

On Sunday, the National Security Council, chaired by President El-Sisi, announced that he deplores the policy of displacement and all attempts to neutralize the Palestinian cause at the expense of neighbouring countries.

Last week, El-Sisi stated that the Palestinian people of Gaza must "stay steadfast and remain on their land."

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