Friday, October 27, 2023

Egypt Rejects Gaza Aid Corridors, Discusses Assistance: Sources | TOME


Egypt Discusses Humanitarian Aid for Gaza, Rejects Safe Corridors for Refugees

Egypt has been in talks with the United States and other countries to provide humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip through its border. However, the country has rejected the idea of setting up safe corridors for refugees fleeing the enclave.

Gaza, a small coastal strip of land sandwiched between Israel and Egypt, is home to around 2.3 million people who have been living under a blockade since Hamas took control in 2007. Egypt has long restricted the flow of Gazans into its territory, even during times of conflict.

As a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, Egypt has consistently emphasized that conflicts should be resolved within their respective borders. The country believes that this is the only way Palestinians can secure their right to statehood.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for crucial life-saving supplies, including fuel, food, and water, to be allowed into Gaza. He expressed gratitude to Egypt for its efforts to facilitate humanitarian access through the Rafah crossing and make the El Arish airport available for critical assistance.

The UN spokesperson also stressed the need to protect civilians and avoid a mass exodus of Gazans.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan revealed that consultations had taken place between the US, Israel, and Egypt regarding the establishment of safe passages for civilians from Gaza. The enclave recently experienced a massive Israeli assault in response to a deadly incursion by Hamas fighters into Israel.

However, Egypt has rejected the idea of safe corridors, citing the importance of preserving the Palestinians’ right to hold on to their cause and their land.

Several Arab states still have camps for Palestinian refugees who are descendants of those who left their homes when Israel was created in 1948. The Palestinians and other Arab states argue that a final peace deal should include the right of these refugees to return, a proposition that Israel has consistently rejected.

Egypt has been intensifying its efforts to contain the situation in Gaza. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi discussed the matter with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani during a meeting in Cairo. Talks between Egypt and the United States, Qatar, and Turkey have focused on the delivery of humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing under a geographically limited ceasefire.

The Rafah crossing, which is the main exit point from Gaza not controlled by Israel, has been closed since Tuesday due to Israeli bombardments on the Palestinian side. Egypt has expressed concerns about the possibility of displacement if the assault on Gaza continues, particularly with residents seeking refuge in Egyptian territory.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated that while Egypt is keen to open the Rafah crossing to provide humanitarian aid, instability and the expansion of the conflict could lead to more hardship and more refugees seeking safe areas, including Europe.

In conclusion, Egypt is actively engaged in discussions with various countries to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza through its border. However, the country firmly rejects the establishment of safe corridors for refugees, emphasizing the Palestinians’ right to their cause and their land. The situation in Gaza remains precarious, and efforts are being made to contain it and prevent further displacement of residents.

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