Palestinian cause resolution lies in two-state solution, not unavailing military ones: Egyptian presidency

Radwa ElSayed Hani , Thursday 16 May 2024

The Egyptian stance has been steadfast since the beginning of the war on Gaza and until now, with its political track calling for a political resolution based on the two-state solution instead of unavailing military ones.

Displaced Palestinians evacuate a refugee camp in northern Gaza. AFP


Egypt's Presidential Spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy made these remarks on the eve of the 33rd Arab Summit in the Bahraini capital of Manama, speaking to reporters on Wednesday.

Regarding the humanitarian track of the Egyptian stance, Fahmy emphasized that Egypt has shouldered its responsibility from day one.

“Egypt undertook a vital and crucial role, which is receiving humanitarian aid from all countries at Al-Arish Airport. These aids were coordinated, collected, and supplemented with Egyptian contributions, representing the majority of the aids provided by civil organizations, society, the Egyptian people, and the Egyptian government,” the spokesperson said.

All of this was organized, he said, despite numerous challenges and obstacles, to be delivered to Gaza to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians who “have faced killings, destruction, displacement, hunger, and siege”.

The Egyptian stance was clear, with actions preceding words and statements, he stated.

Last week, Israel deployed tanks into the Palestinian city of Rafah and took control of the Palestinian side of the border crossing with Egypt.

Cairo has warned that Israel’s military operation in Rafah will exacerbate the already worsening humanitarian situation in a way unacceptable to the international community.

Egypt has been exerting increased pressure on Israel over the past week to withdraw forces from Gaza’s southern city of Rafah and abandon its globally rejected plans for a full-scale invasion.

In response to Israeli allegations blaming Egypt for blocking the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated 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 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.

Meanwhile, Fahmy pointed out that the crisis has not been resolved, as there is a continuation of military operations in a highly critical phase for the Arab region.

Fahmy also emphasized that Egypt made utmost efforts in cooperation and coordination with Qatar and the United States to try to reach a ceasefire, a truce, and an exchange of prisoners, hostages, and detainees, as well as the entry of aid in sufficient quantities.

He indicated that these Egyptian efforts were diligent and intense to the highest degree, noting that Egypt still hoped for reason and wisdom to prevail in this crisis, leading to a resolution of the conflict.

In response to a question about the truce negotiations mediated by Cairo, Doha and Washington, Shoukry stated in an interview with Sky News TV channel 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 revealed that Israel rejected the Egyptian proposal for truce although it was reviewed by mediators and met the demands of both parties before submission.

‘Very critical time of Arab Summit’

Fahmy pointed out that the Arab Summit comes at a very critical time and stage, highlighting its importance for both the Arab region and beyond, and shedding light on the broader challenges and crises faced by Arab nations.

“The Arab Summit comes today within the framework of unifying Arab positions and forming a united Arab front with one voice, which will undoubtedly be reflected in the summit's decisions,” he said.

Since 7 October, Israeli forces have killed over 35,000 people, and injured nearly 80,000 (five percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million population) - most of whom were children and women.

Fahmy affirmed that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is committed to showcasing Egypt's perspective on the current crisis in Gaza during the Arab Summit.

According to Fahmy, El-Sisi will further highlight Egypt's proposal for a solution to the crisis, based on the two-state solution and establishing a Palestinian state.

Furthermore, Fahmy underscored Egypt's determination to urge the international community to take action in this regard, a sentiment echoed in the forthcoming outcomes of Arab Leaders during the Summit.

Fahmy added that Egypt has been emphasising the interconnectedness of the Gaza crisis - which enters its eighth month - with the international community.

"The international order should be rooted in justice and equality, safeguarding the legitimate rights of peoples and their right to self-determination," he said.

Similarly, Shoukry on Wednesday 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.

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