Shoukry, Blinken stress rejection of any displacement of Palestinians

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Dec 2023

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the latest developments in the war-torn Gaza Strip, agreeing to continue rejecting and preventing any displacement of Palestinians from their lands.

Shoukry, Blinken
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.Photo: Ahram Online

In a phone call on Tuesday, Blinken reviewed US efforts to prevent the displacement of Palestinians, according to a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Shoukry stressed to Blinken the necessity of working to ensure “intensified” access to humanitarian aid in the strip.

As part of its war on Gaza, Israel has put over 2.3 million Palestinians under a complete blockade, cutting off all food, medicine, water, and fuel supplies, while impeding the entry of aid coming from the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Israel's war against Gaza, one the deadliest bombing campaigns of civilian targets since WWII, has killed at least 19,667 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 52,586 others, most of whom are women and children.

Israeli airstrikes have also destroyed 61 percent of all residential buildings in the strip, displacing nearly 2 million Gazans.

Israel has carried out intensive and indiscriminate bombardment on the civilian population in the northern parts of Gaza, thus pushing the civilian population towards the south of the strip.

In the last two weeks, Israel has intensified its bombardment of various major population centres around Khan Younis in the southern strip, issuing warnings to residents to move further south to Rafah near the border with Egypt.

Egypt has repeatedly stressed its rejection of the possible deportation of Palestinians, considering it a red line that is not to be crossed.

Shoukry expressed to Blinken Egypt’s hope for US support for the draft resolution proposed by the Arab and Islamic groups at the Security Council, which calls for an immediate ceasefire and sustained aid entry into Gaza, added the statement.

The pairs also addressed the security challenges in the southern Red Sea region and the Bab al-Mandab Strait and their impact on navigation in the Red Sea.

Shoukry underscored the necessity of safe navigation in the Red Sea to ensure the safe flow of global trade, noted the statement.

Meanwhile, Blinken also expressed his country’s aspiration for “close joint work” with Egypt during the new term of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

According to the statement, Blinken said the US is keen to maintain strategic relations with Egypt and strengthen coordination on growing regional and international challenges.

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