Egypt, Spain warn against Israel’s plan to storm Rafah and escalation in Gaza war

Ahram Online , Thursday 14 Mar 2024

Egypt and Spain affirmed their rejection of the military escalation in the Gaza Strip, warning against the “dire humanitarian consequences” of any Israeli operations in Palestine's densely populated city of Rafah.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (R) and Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel Albares (Photo: The Egyptian Presidency)


This came during a meeting between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, who is on a visit to Egypt.

Both sides voiced their rejection of measures that could lead to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause, including the forced displacement of Palestinians, read a statement by the Egyptian presidency.

El-Sisi and Albares urged for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where Israel has killed over 31,000 Palestinians and injured thousands.

They also called for delivering enough humanitarian aid to the strip on a sustained basis, as well as supporting the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to carry out its humanitarian role.

The Egyptian and Spanish sides advocated for “clear and concrete” steps by the international community to recognize the Palestinian state to obtain full membership in the UN.

They said this step “opens the way for activating the two-state solution, as the basis for restoring regional security and stability,” read the statement.

Albares conveyed his country and Europe's appreciation for Egypt's role as a "prudent regional power" working to promote peace and stability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region.

He said Egypt has played a “responsible” role since the onset of the conflict in Gaza on 7 October, emphasizing its commitment to de-escalation, ceasefire, and the release of detainees.

Furthermore, he underlined Egypt's efforts to champion the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the strip, despite significant obstacles, added the statement.

El-Sisi voiced his appreciation for Spain’s “balanced” position on regional situations, especially its position in support of just Palestinian rights and the establishment of sustainable peace and security in the region.

In preparation of its potential offensive in Rafah, the Israeli military announced on Wednesday its intention to relocate a substantial number of the 1.4 million displaced Palestinians who are currently trapped in Rafah to designated "humanitarian islands" situated in the heart of the territory.

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