Egypt rejects attempts to displace Palestinians: Defence minister to UN official

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Jan 2024

Egypt remains committed to the Palestinian cause and rejects any attempts to displace the Palestinians, reiterated Minister of Defence and Military Production Mohamed Zaki during his meeting with UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag.

Armed Forces
Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohamed Zaki during his meeting with the UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Egypt's Armed Forces Spokesperson

 

The meeting, which took place in Cairo on Wednesday, was attended by top military officials. It addressed developments in Gaza and outlined strategies for coordinating efforts to ensure a continuous flow of humanitarian assistance and relief materials to the population facing severe shortages of basic necessities due to ongoing military operations, read a statement by the Egyptian military spokesperson.

"Zaki affirmed Egypt's steadfast stance in supporting the Palestinian cause in accordance with the provisions of international legitimacy," the statement noted, adding that the minister "strongly rejected any attempts to displace the Palestinian people."

The defence minister expressed Egypt’s desire to coordinate with regional and international parties to effect de-escalation in Gaza and alleviate the humanitarian suffering of its residents, the statement added.

Kaag hailed Egypt's efforts to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, expressing hopes that the international endeavours would result in a ceasefire.

This is Kaag's first visit to the region since her appointment on 26 December 2023 under Security Council Resolution 2720, meant to facilitate, coordinate, and monitor the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Kaag met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday. During their meeting, Shoukry stressed Egypt's support for Kaag’s role and efforts to facilitate her duties, including the swift launch of a UN mechanism to expedite the dispatch of humanitarian aid shipments to Gaza. 

Last week, the Israeli defence team speaking before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) claimed that Egypt is responsible for preventing the entry of humanitarian aid into the Strip through the Rafah border crossing. The claim was refuted by several Egyptian official statements.

On Sunday, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service Diaa Rashwan stated that the major hurdle for the swift delivery of aid to Gaza over the past 100 days has been the deliberate delays imposed by Israeli authorities inspecting aid material at border crossings.

Rashwan said Egypt's Rafah crossing has never been closed for a moment during the 100-day war, noting that Egypt, via several official statements, has called on Israel to stop hindering humanitarian aid under the pretext of inspection delays.

Egypt’s private and public contributions comprise 82 percent of total aid delivered to Gaza, which in total has reached 9,000 aid-loaded trucks until Sunday.

Since October 2023, Israel has launched a relentless military campaign on the Gaza Strip that has killed at least 24,285 Palestinians, with 61,154 reported injuries, according to the Palestinian health ministry's latest figures. 

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