Egypt stance on Israel peace treaty linked to Egyptian interests: FM Shoukry

Ahram Online , Wednesday 15 May 2024

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday that Egypt's stance on its peace treaty with Israel is linked to how events develop and Egyptian interests.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry


In an interview with Sky News TV channel, Shoukry emphasised that Egypt has constantly demanded the end of Israel’s military operation in Gaza and allowing humanitarian aid to flow unhindered into the strip.

"It is unacceptable to expose aid trucks and those working on them to danger," he said, stressing that Israel must stop military operations at the Rafah crossing along the border with Egypt.

He noted that Israeli claims regarding coordination with Egypt on military operations in Rafah are unfounded.

"The United Nations Security Council has set a mechanism for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and Israel must respect it," Shoukry stressed.

He decried Israel’s policy of starving the Palestinians in Gaza, saying: “Why would Israel close the crossings with Gaza if not for practising a policy of starvation that is in itself a war crime?"  

In early May, Israeli troops seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt for the first time since Israel pulled out its soldiers and settlers from the strip in 2005.

Furthermore, Egypt's FM expressed his concerns about Israel’s destruction of the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

In response to a question about the truce negotiations mediated by Cairo, Doha and Washington, Shoukry explained that the negotiations' success depends on the will of both parties, highlighting that Hamas expressed its desire to reach a deal.

On 6 May, the head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, informed in phone calls with the Head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel and Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani that the movement had accepted their proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza war.

Shoukry also revealed that Israel rejected the Egyptian proposal for truce although it was reviewed by mediators and met the demands of both parties before submission.

He explained that the international community has to pressure Israel into accepting the two-state solution since Israel has shown no political will to accede to the Arab Peace Initiative or the two-state solution.

Shoukry also pointed out that the Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Palestinian cause based on the two-state solution represents a strategic option for the Arab world.

Similarly, Shoukry said in an interview with Al-Qahera News TV channel that Cairo has been confronting all attempts to displace the Palestinians and liquidate the Palestinian cause.

He stressed that ending the war in Gaza is a top priority for Arab leaders at the 33rd Arab Summit in the Bahraini capital Manama.

Moreover, Shoukry said Egypt's recent decision to intervene in support of South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice reflects Egypt’s respect for international law to prevent genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Shoukry further called on the international community to take concrete measures to halt the Israeli war on Gaza.

"We call on the international community to translate its words into deeds to save the innocent people in Palestine," he said, stressing that the Palestinian people deserve to have their independent state.

"The Gaza crisis demonstrated the international community's inability to adopt policies consistent with international rules," Shoukry affirmed.

He also highlighted that Israel’s military operation in Rafah will exacerbate the already worsening humanitarian situation in a way unacceptable to the international community.

Shoukry also stressed that providing humanitarian aid to Gaza has been a priority for Egypt since the beginning of the crisis.

"We reject what Israel is doing and its attempts to distort the facts," he added, pointing out that the international community has praised what Egypt has done for Gaza.

Shoukry also stressed the priority of reaching a ceasefire before any talk of an international peace conference.

Earlier Wednesday, an Israeli official said that Egypt rejected an Israeli request to open the Rafah crossing to Gaza residents fleeing the war, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday, Shoukry affirmed that Israel is solely responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

Shoukry's remarks came following the statements of the Israeli Foreign Minister, in which he demanded that Egypt reopen the Rafah border crossing and claimed that the responsibility of avoiding a humanitarian crisis in Gaza falls on Egypt.

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