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Egypt slams calls for displacing Gaza population amid Israel airstrikes

October 17, 2023 at 8:28 pm

Palestinians look for their belongings among the rubble of their destroyed houses as Israeli attacks continue on the 10th day in Gaza City, Gaza on October 16, 2023 [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

Egypt’s Foreign Minister on Tuesday criticised calls for displacing 2.5 million people from the Gaza Strip amid ongoing Israeli airstrikes on the Palestinian Territory, Anadolu Agency reports.

If you are asking me if Egypt can host 2.5 million inhabitants; I believe you can equally ask if the UK or any EU country can adopt this policy

Sameh Shoukry told the BBC.

We saw how countries complained against the influx of mere thousands of migrants, while Egypt hosts 9 million guests on land

he said.

The Foreign Minister blamed the Israeli aerial bombardment for making the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza “inaccessible”.

“The crossing on the Palestinian side was bombed four times by the Israeli side, therefore, it is not operating normally,” Shoukry said.

Trucks carrying hundreds of tons of aid to Gaza’s population have lined up near the Rafah crossing waiting for an agreement on aid delivery.

The Rafah crossing, a vital artery before the fighting, is now a key route for desperately needed supplies for the Palestinian civilians in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip.

Eleven days into the conflict with the Hamas group, Israel’s bombardment and blockade of the Gaza Strip has continued, with over one million people displaced – almost half of Gaza’s total population, according to UNRWA.

The fighting began when Hamas, on 7 October, initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased violence by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

More than 4,400 people have been killed in the armed conflict, including at least 3,061 Palestinians and more than 1,400 Israelis.

READ: Independent probe into war crimes must be carried out in Gaza: IJU