Shoukry calls for opening all Israel-Gaza crossings in phone call with UK counterpart

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Jun 2024

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stressed the necessity of opening all crossings between Israel and Gaza to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and the safety of international relief crews inside the strip.



Shoukry made his remarks during a phone call with UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron as the pair discussed the latest development in the Gaza strip and the recent US ceasefire proposal.

Shoukry reiterated to Cameron the need to pressure Israel to comply with its legal obligations as an occupying power, and to stop military operations in the strip, including in the Palestinian city of Rafah, according to a statement by the foreign ministry.

He stressed Egypt’s support for all moves aimed at ending the Israeli war against Gaza, ensuring full and unhindered access to humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in the strip.

He also urged for a deal that ensures the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the safe return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, added the statement.

Both ministers stressed their support to the US efforts to halt the Israeli war, agreeing on the need to urge all parties to reach a deal to stop the humanitarian catastrophe endured by the population in Gaza.

On 7 May, Israel launched its assault on Rafah, taking over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for the first time since Israel pulled out its soldiers and settlers from the strip in 2005.

Since that time, no humanitarian aid has entered to a population facing famine in Gaza through the Rafah crossing.

Cairo rejects the presence of Israeli forces at the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, insisting that it will only cooperate with Palestinians or international parties over the crossing.

On Saturday, Egypt, Qatar, and the United States – who have been mediating talks between Hamas and Israel since the outbreak of the Israeli military campaign on 7 October – jointly called on Hamas and Israel to finalize the agreement embodying the principles outlined by US President Joe Biden on Friday.

In a speech Friday, Biden outlined a three-phase proposal that starts with a six-week complete ceasefire that would see Israeli forces withdraw from all populated areas of Gaza.

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