Israel responsible for impeding exit of foreigners from Gaza: Head of Egypt Information Service

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Oct 2023

Israel is responsible for impeding the exit of foreign nationals trapped in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing because it shelled the roads leading to the crossing on the Palestinian side, Diaa Rashwan, Head of Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) said.

Israeli military
Israeli military armoured vehicles deploy along Israel s border with Gaza on October 24, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023. AFP


During a press conference for foreign and local media held at State Information Service (SIS) headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday, Rashwan revealed the Israeli aircraft bombed the Rafah crossing four times, and Egypt incurred the cost of its repair to allow the aid in.

Egypt is currently not only in negotiations for the entry of the much-needed aid into Gaza -- in cooperation with international organizations and the Red Crescent -- but also for the exit of foreign nationals, he clarified. 

As of Monday, 54 trucks carrying 457 tons of medicines, 251 tons of food, and 87 tons of water entered the enclave, he said, adding that another 20 trucks are expected to enter on Tuesday. 

As tons of aid remain queued on the Egyptian side of the crossing awaiting the necessary authorization to proceed, Rashwan shed light on Egypt’s call for a sustained flow of aid into Gaza to meet the needs of 2.3 Palestinians in the war-torn strip.

He also stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations leading to political talks, saying the current situation in Gaza is not in line with international law.

Bias of Western media

Rashwan also spotlighted the biased coverage of the Western media against the Palestinians, saying “Western media is the humanization of the Israeli situation and the demonization of the Palestinian movement.” 

He added that the Palestinian resistance, especially Hamas, is wrongly accused of initiating the escalation, noting that Hamas emerged in 1987; forty years after the start of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He noted that the start of the aggression was not on October 7. 

Israel has been an occupying state since 1967, and since then, there is a nation of 12 million people left in the wilderness or to die, he said.

The Israel-Palestine conflict resulted in the death of 100,000 Palestinians, one million wounded, and 12 million displaced people living in camps in Arab countries and scattered in the West, he added.

“What happened is collective violence resulting from cumulative policies over 75 years, including the 16-years-old Israeli blockade on Gaza,” he pointed out. 

Humanitarian situations

While criticizing Western media for focusing solely on Israel's humanitarian situation and ignoring the conditions in Gaza, Rashwan reported that 181,000 housing units in Gaza have been partially damaged and 20,000 units completely demolished.

Rashwan expressed concern that the conflict in Gaza is on the verge of becoming a global crisis and wondered why Israel refuses to allow international media access to Gaza.

He noted that 1.4 million people have been displaced from North Gaza, adding that Egypt warns against the deteriorating humanitarian situation and condemns attacks on civilians from both sides.

Making it clear that Egypt strongly condemns any targeting of civilians from either side, he pointed out that in the past five years, 100,000 Palestinians have been injured in Gaza, compared to 12,000 Israelis.

Two-state solution

SIS head called for the resolution of the Palestinian issue without displacing the Palestinian people, adding that the two-state solution remains the accepted approach for Egypt.

“Egypt continuously seeks to address the root causes of escalation through a just, comprehensive, and sustainable solution to the Palestinian issue,” Rashwan said, adding that Egypt's position on the Palestinian issue remains steadfast.

Cairo firmly believes that the decades-old issue should be resolved through the two-state solution, based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the recognized capital of the State of Palestine, he added.

Egypt unequivocally rejects any proposals involving the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homeland, he said.



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