Egypt refutes Israeli claims over Rafah crossing 

Zeinab El-Gundy , Sunday 14 Jan 2024

Rafah crossing has remained open since the onset of the Gaza crisis, and Egypt firmly rejects any allegations regarding the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, stated the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday, countering Israeli assertions at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

humanitarian aid
File Photo: Trucks of Egyptian Red Crecent carrying humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip cross the Rafah border gate, in Rafah, Egypt. AP


In remarks on the TV show "My Responsibility," hosted by Ahmed Moussa, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu-Zeid clarified that Egypt has tirelessly pursued international and regional efforts to facilitate the entry of a substantial amount of aid into Gaza. Abu Zeid emphasized Egypt's pivotal role in crafting the initial version of the resolution project adopted by the Security Council to streamline humanitarian aid entry procedures.

He pointed out that Israeli measures, including stringent inspection processes, have impeded aid arrival, causing significant delays and obstructing the entry of medical assistance, journalists, and official personnel.

Abu Zeid highlighted US Senator Chris Van Hollen's recent visit to Egypt, where he accused Israel's inspection process of hindering aid delivery through the Rafah crossing.

"We must all have confidence in the measures undertaken by the Egyptian government to support the Palestinian people, enabling them to regain their freedom and achieve their dream of a secure life in the Gaza Strip," added Abu-Zeid.

The spokesperson affirmed that all officials visiting the Rafah crossing have confirmed Egypt's role in aiding the entry process.

Abu Zeid's statements constitute the second official response to Israeli claims at the ICJ, contradicting assertions that Egypt, not Israel, is obstructing humanitarian aid entry through the Egyptian side of the Rafah Crossing. The first response came from the head of the State Information Service.

Regarding the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's reply to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements on the Philadelphi corridor, Abu Zeid stated, "Egypt controls its borders entirely, and these matters are subject to security and legal agreements. Any discussion on this issue is subject to scrutiny and will be addressed through official positions."

Expressing Egypt's deep concern about the situation in the Red Sea, Abu-Zeid called for respecting freedom of navigation and trade, emphasizing their impact on global trade movements and the interests of all countries. He reiterated that tensions stem from the continued situation in Gaza and repeated Israeli violations.

Abu-Zeid confirmed Egypt's support for South Africa's lawsuit at the ICJ, and all efforts aimed at investigating Israeli violations against the Palestinian people in Gaza. He mentioned the next ICJ steps involve determining preliminary jurisdiction and temporary precautionary measures.

Regarding the Foreign Minister's visit to Eritrea, Abu-Zeid described it as an important visit to a sister and friendly state in the Horn of Africa. He added that the minister carried a message from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, addressing ways to enhance bilateral relations, establish joint projects, and collaborate in various fields, including discussions on regional tensions associated with the Horn of Africa.

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