Egypt exerting utmost effort to end Gaza escalation, FM Shoukry tells PLO official

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 May 2021

FM Sameh Shoukry said reviving the peace negotiation between Palestinian and Israelis is the main way out to reach the two-state solution

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during a meeting with Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmed in Cairo on Thursday, 20 May 2020 (photo courtesy of Egyptian foreign ministry)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has told a PLO official that Cairo is exerting the "utmost effort" to end the current state of tension in the Palestinian territories to restore stability and cease the bloodshed.

Shoukry received Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmed in Cairo on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in the Palestinian territories as the Israeli aggression continues for the 11th consecutive day.

During the meeting, Minister Shoukry reviewed the efforts Egypt is making at all levels to contain the escalation, which has claimed over 200 Palestinian lives, including many women and children, and injured over 8,000.

Over the past several hours, the Egyptian delegation has paid visits to Ramallah city in the central West Bank and Tel Aviv to mediate an immediate ceasefire, according to media reports.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Tuesday that Cairo would intensify contacts with all concerned international parties, including both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to end the escalation.

Shoukry stressed the need to press ahead with regional and international efforts to end the crisis and avoid the repetition of such a flare-up by reviving the frozen peace negotiations, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said in a statement.

"Reviving the peace negotiation is the main way out to reach the two-state solution," the statement quoted Shoukry as saying.

Egypt, alongside Jordan, France and Germany, formed in February 2020 a quartet group, dubbed ‘the Munich Committee,’ to revive the halted peace negotiations to push ahead with reaching the two-state solution and establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital based on the borders of 1967.

Azzam Al-Ahmed, who is also a member of Fatah's Central Committee, praised the Egyptian stance toward the Palestinian cause and Cairo's recent efforts to end the crisis.

He also thanked President El-Sisi for his initiative to reconstruct Gaza.

El-Sisi announced on Tuesday the allocation of $500 million as part of an Egyptian initiative for the reconstruction of the strip, whose infrastructure was devastated by the Israeli airstrikes.

As per the presidential directives issued during the trilateral summit with France and Jordan in Paris, specialised Egyptian companies will be involved in the reconstruction process.

Egypt also announced on Monday that it has allocated 11 hospitals nationwide to receive Palestinians injured in the Israeli bombing of Gaza. It also sent 65 tons of medical aid to aid Gaza.

The recent escalation was sparked on 10 May when Israel cracked down on Palestinian demonstrators protesting Israel’s plan to forcibly expel Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem.

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