Israel has to remove obstacles to Gaza aid delivery: Egypt’s FM Shoukry

Amr Kandil , Monday 29 Jan 2024

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has emphasized the importance of Israel removing all its impediments that hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people in the Gaza Strip.

A worker rests as displaced Palestinians receive food aid at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) center in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on January 28, 2024. AFP


Shoukry made this call during a phone conversation with the UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag on Sunday, Shoukry said in a statement.

The discussions focused on efforts to activate the UN mechanism established under UN Security Council Resolution 2720, which aims to expedite the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

Shoukry and Kaag highlighted the need to increase aid flow into Gaza to meet the urgent needs of its population. They also underscored the importance of providing the necessary support, both material and political, for the continuity of service facilities and relief agencies in the strip.

Shoukry has urged international parties to fulfill their responsibilities in ensuring the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2720, as well as other resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly.

He also called for implementing the recent ruling issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which includes temporary measures obligating Israel to immediately provide urgent humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Kaag expressed her commitment to continuing coordination with Egypt to ensure an increased flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Anticipated Security Council session

Shoukry’s conversation with Kaag came a few days before the Security Council emergency session on Wednesday, requested by Algeria over the ICJ decision calling for Israel to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Friday that the objective is to “give binding force to the IJC ruling.”

Kaag briefed Shoukry on the briefing that she will conduct regarding the upcoming Security Council session.

This conversation also comes amid growing global pressure on the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, which has served as a lifeline for millions of registered Palestinians since its establishment in 1949.

Over the past few days, several countries, including major donors, have suspended their funding for UNRWA in response to accusations that a dozen of its employees cooperated with Hamas in planning the deadly attacks against Israeli cities on 7 October.

At least 10 countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, and Scotland, have paused aid to UNRWA, exacerbating its already limited resources.

On Sunday, Shoukry noted that the language used in accusations against the UNRWA was “highly charged in its connotations,” expressing astonishment that the same language has not been employed in discussing the deaths of over 26,000 Palestinians in Gaza, the majority of whom were children and women.

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