Egypt reiterates no coordination with Israel over Rafah crossing; only Palestinian, int’l sides: Source

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 May 2024

A high-level Egyptian source told Al-Qahera News channel on Tuesday that Egypt is committed to only coordinating with Palestinian or international parties over the Rafah crossing.

A vehicle of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) crosses from the Palestinian side to the Eg
A vehicle of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) crosses from the Palestinian side to the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip. AFP

 

The source stressed in remarks to the channel that the Egyptian authorities will “not adopt coordination with the Israeli side” over the crossing.

He added that Cairo is determined to press ahead with efforts to support the Palestinian people and preserve their historical rights by all possible means.

According to the source, the Egyptian security delegation is intensifying its efforts to reactivate the ceasefire and detainee swap deal in coordination with Qatar and the US.

“We informed all concerned parties that Israel's insistence on committing massacres and escalation in Palestinian Rafah weakens the negotiation paths and leads to dire consequences,” the sources added.

Rafah Escalation
 

In early May, Israel launched its assault on the Palestinian city of Rafah on Gaza’s southern edge, taking over the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt for the first time since Israel pulled out its soldiers and settlers from the strip in 2005.

The takeover has prevented the entry of humanitarian aid through the crossing, worsening famine conditions in the strip.

At the time, Egypt strongly condemned the deployment and any Israeli control over the Palestinian side of the crossing.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken of security consequences that may arise due to the Israeli operations in the Palestinian border city of Rafah, a statement by the ministry said on 10 May.

Shoukry and Blinken agreed on the potential “dangers and catastrophic humanitarian repercussions” of the Israeli military operations in Rafah – where more than 1.4 million Palestinians had taken shelter.

Afterwards, Egypt rejected an Israeli proposal for the two countries to coordinate to control the Rafah crossing between Gaza and the Egyptian territories insisting that the crossing was to be managed by the Palestinian authorities, Reuters reported on mid-May.

As a result, on Sunday, 200 aid trucks from Egypt started entering the strip through the Karm Abu Salem border crossing, instead of the Rafah crossing, per a phone call agreement between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and US President Joe Biden on Friday.

Earlier in May, an informed Egyptian source told Al-Qahera News channel that Egypt rejects coordination with Israel regarding the Rafah crossing due to the unacceptable Israeli escalation in Gaza.

Egypt has been demanding an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from the Rafah city as well as the Rafah crossing.

Since 7 October, the Israeli war has killed nearly 40,000 people and injured over 80,643, as reported by the Gaza health ministry.

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