Misrepresenting Egypt’s position on Rafah Crossing 'unacceptable': Shoukry to BBC

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Oct 2023

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has rejected as “unacceptable” any attempts to misrepresent Egypt’s position on Rafah Crossing, asserting that the crossing has never been officially closed by Egypt, but it isn’t functioning normally after being targeted by Israel four times.

Egyption Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry. AFP
Egyption Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry. AFP


“The crossing has been subject to 4 aerial bombings by the Israeli side and hence it's not functioning normally,” Shoukry said in an interview with BBC World Service on Tuesday, as life-saving aid provided to the war-torn Gaza Strip is still being held until an agreement on delivery to is reached.

In a separate interview with CNN on Tuesday, Shoukry stated that four Egyptian workers were injured due to the Israeli military's shelling of the Rafah border crossing.

He also revealed that the crossing was severely damaged and need to be repaired as soon as possible to enable the movement of aid.

During his interview with BBC World Service, Shoukry reviewed the Egyptian efforts to contain the escalation in the enclave and allow the entrance of assistance, saying “We are in constant contact with all UN agencies to extract a safe passage for the relief aid.”

However, he affirmed that “there is not yet any sort of authorization for a safe passage from the other side of the crossing,” according to a statement by foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmed Abu Zaid, on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Egypt’s top diplomat reiterated his rejection of Israel’s call for Palestinians in the north of Gaza to leave their homes and move south.

“Israel’s call for displacement to the South is in full contradiction to international humanitarian law; leaving people with no water, electricity, and food,” he added.

According to a CNN stringer at the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, Israel launched a number of airstrikes about a kilometre from Rafah crossing.

Dozens of trucks are on the Egyptian side of the crossing waiting to get into Gaza, the stringer said. 

Two airstrikes struck 15 minutes apart around 1 kilometre away from the Rafah crossing.

Gaza death toll reached around 3,000 people thus far as a result of the Israeli occupation military strikes on the Gaza Strip, according to local authorities.

More than 12,500 others have been wounded since the start of Israel’s bombardments of Gaza on October 7.

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