Egypt FM Shoukry stresses need for comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza war to American delegation - as it happened

Ahram Online , Monday 11 Mar 2024

Ahram Online is providing live coverage of the Israeli war on Gaza on its 157th day.

Protesters rally during the Hands Off Rafah, Ceasefire Now, Stop the Genocide rally in New York on March 2, 2024. AFP


20:30 UNRWA commissioner-general says a truck loaded with aid has just been turned back because it had scissors used in children’s medical kits.

18:40 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday he was "appalled" by the war continuing in Gaza despite the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Speaking after the failure of attempts to negotiate a ceasefire, Guterres called for "silencing the guns" in Gaza and warned that "hunger and malnutrition" are taking hold.

"This is heartbreaking and utterly unacceptable," Guterres told reporters.

"I am appalled and outraged that conflict is continuing in Gaza during this holy month," he said, adding that "all obstacles" to aid delivery should be removed.

17:30 The Egyptian Air Force, in cooperation with its counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, conducted on Monday a new round of airdrops of humanitarian aid including food and medical supplies over northern Gaza, the Egyptian Armed Forces announced.

The aircraft took off from Arish Airport on Monday, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

16:00 Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stressed to a delegation of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt) the importance of intensifying efforts to reach a comprehensive ceasefire agreement in Gaza.

FM Shoukry discussed Cairo's ongoing efforts to broker a permanent ceasefire with the delegation, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cairo hosted the latest round of truce talks last week, but mediators from Egypt, Qatar, and the United States failed to reach a truce deal between Hamas and Israel before the holy month of Ramadan.

FM Shoukry underscored the importance of implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 2720, which reaffirms the UN mechanism for coordinating and monitoring aid entry to Gaza and the need to respect international humanitarian law.

He affirmed to the AmCham delegation Cairo’s opposition to any Israeli military operation in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, warning of catastrophic humanitarian ramifications.

Shoukry also stressed to the delegation Cairo's categorical rejection of any attempts to displace the Palestinian people from their lands.

He warned of increasingly dangerous repercussions of the Gaza conflict spillovers to the stability and security of the region and the world.

15:00 Italian Ambassador to Cairo Michele Quaroni expressed, in an interview with Ahram, deep appreciation for Egypt's efforts to assist Gaza residents and alleviate their suffering.

Ambassador Quaroni also praised Egypt’s significant role in mediating a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel.

He stressed that Rome is fully committed to alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Quaroni added that Italy has worked closely with Egyptian authorities, including the Egyptian Red Crescent and the Ministry of Health, to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza and treat wounded women and children in Italy.

He highlighted his country's efforts in organizing flights to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians and the dispatching of the military hospital ship "Vulcano" to support Egyptian relief efforts.

He commended the crucial role of Italian embassy staff and the Umberto I Italian Hospital in Cairo in providing medical care to Palestinians.

Italy will receive more children for treatment in the coming weeks as it is committed to alleviating the suffering of Gaza’s innocent civilians, he affirmed.

Furthermore, Quaroni noted that Italy’s new initiative “Food for Gaza” would enhance humanitarian assistance to the residents of the strip.

He also stated that Italy has decided to join EU efforts in the recent EU-led maritime relief corridor launched from Cyprus, working closely with international partners to help Palestinians.

14:00 As the Muslim world welcomed Ramadan with the customary daytime fast, many Gazans awoke to the bombardment that saw residents once more search through the rubble of destroyed homes for survivors and bodies.

The Palestinian health ministry said at least 67 people were killed over the past 24 hours.

"The start of Ramadan has been sad and covered in darkness, with the taste and stench of blood everywhere," said one displaced Palestinian man, Awni Al-Kayyal, 50.

"The (Israeli) occupation does not want us to have any joy during Ramadan. We do not have any food for our iftar table," he said, referring to the fast-breaking evening meal.

Meanwhile, two more infants have passed away at Kamal Adwan Hospital from malnutrition due to Israel's ongoing blockade on the strip.

Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling today targeted several residential neighbourhoods in the cities of Deir Al-Balah and Khan Younis in the central and southern Gaza Strip, according to medical sources, said WAFA.

Israeli fighter jets unleashed multiple airstrikes targeting entire residential neighbourhoods in the Al-Qarara area, northeast of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. The strikes resulted in dozens of casualties and massive destruction. 

Medical sources reported that occupation military tanks deliberately destroyed and blew up several homes in Al-Qarara.

Israeli warplanes also carried out intense strikes on Hamad Town in Khan Younis, causing significant damage.

Meanwhile, Israeli fighter jets further carried out airstrikes targeting civilian homes in the city of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

According to local health authorities, the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip since early October 2023 has so far resulted in over 31,112 reported fatalities, most of whom are children and women, with an additional 72,760 documented injuries.

12:30 Marione Ingram, 88, is a German-born civil rights activist, Holocaust survivor, author, and artist.

She has been a vociferous critic of what she describes as the Israeli murderous slaughter of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Marione has protested against the Gaza war on multiple occasions outside the Israeli embassy and the White House in Washington DC.

Marione insists that Never Again must be applied to all genocides!

Ingram was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Her mother was Jewish, while her father was not. The couple married in 1934 before the outlawing of such marriages under the Nuremberg Laws. This allowed Ingram and her two sisters to avoid initial deportations of German Jews.

Marione survived the Holocaust and the Allied bombing of Hamburg.



Visit Marione Ingram's page on Instagram.


11:00 The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins Monday in Gaza with no truce in sight, as the Israeli war on Gaza rages and a dire humanitarian crisis grips the near-starving strip.

A Spanish charity ship with food aid prepared to sail from Cyprus to the coastal Gaza Strip, where the UN has repeatedly warned of famine.

Aid groups say only a fraction of the supplies required to meet basic humanitarian needs have been allowed into Gaza since October when Israel placed it under near-total siege.

About 370 kilometres (230 miles) from Cyprus across the Mediterranean Sea, Mohammed Harara stood on the shores of Gaza, hoping for aid to arrive.

"I've been waiting since this morning because tomorrow is the start of the holy month of Ramadan and the situation is very tragic," he said.

The non-governmental group Open Arms said its boat would tow a barge with 200 tonnes of food, which its partner the US charity World Central Kitchen would then unload on Gaza's shores.

It was expected to depart "within the coming hours," Cypriot government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis told Cyprus News Agency.

Jordanian, US, French, Belgian, and Egyptian planes parachuted aid into northern Gaza on Sunday, but the United Nations aid coordinator for the area has said boosting supply by land is the best way to get assistance to the territory's 2.4 million people.

Some of the airdropped food packages smashed open on impact, leaving residents picking through the dirt to salvage what they could, AFPTV images showed.

The war has killed 31,045 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza, where vast swathes have been reduced to a bombed-out wasteland.

Weeks of talks involving US, Qatari, and Egyptian mediators have aimed for a six-week truce and the release of many of the captives taken on 7 October that militants are still holding. In return, Israel would free Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.

The aim had been to halt the fighting by the start of Ramadan.

Both sides have blamed each other for failing to reach a truce deal after Israel demanded a full list of surviving captives, and Hamas called for Israel to pull out all its troops from Gaza.

A source with knowledge of the truce talks told AFP that "there will be a diplomatic push, especially in the next 10 days" to secure a deal within the first half of Ramadan.

The holy month this year is "all pain," said Ahmed Kamis, 40, in Rafah, where around 1.5 million people have tried to find refuge but are still at risk from Israeli bombing.

Israel has also threatened to launch a ground operation into the southern city.

However, many displaced Palestinians painted their tents with colourful traditional Ramadan Kareem greetings as they hoped for better days to come!


Palestinian artist Ayman al-Husari draws calligraphy on the tent of displaced people along a street in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 10, 2024. AFP


On Sunday evening, children celebrated the advent of Ramadan with makeshift drums and fireworks in the streets of Rafah in southern Gaza.



10:00 British director and screenwriter Johnathan Glazer, whose film The Zone of Interest won Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Award on Sunday, rejected the use of Jewishness and the Holocaust by the Israeli occupation to justify the killing of innocent people in Gaza.

The Zone of Interest follows Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig who build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp.

The UK film won Best International Feature Film and Best Sound Academy Awards.

It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

"All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present. Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It’s shaped all of our past and present," Glazer said standing on the stage with film producers James Wilson and Len Blavatnik.


English director Jonathan Glazer poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best International Feature Film for The Zone of Interest during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 10, 2024. AFP


"Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza. All the victims of this dehumanization — how do we resist?"

Outside of the Dolby Theater where the ceremony took place, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters carried signs slamming what they described as Hollywood's silence on the genocide in Gaza and chanted for a ceasefire in the Israeli war on the strip.

The protests shut down several streets around the theatre, delaying the arrival of some celebrities to the ceremony by one hour.


A protester holds a poster during a demonstration in support of Palestinians calling for a ceasefire in Gaza as the 96th Academy Awards Oscars ceremony is held nearby, Sunday, March 10, 2024, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. AP

Hundreds demonstrate in support of Palestinians calling for a ceasefire in Gaza near the Dolby Theater where the 96th Academy Awards Oscars ceremony is held on Sunday, March 10, 2024, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. AP

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