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Egypt FM: Israel's bombing prevents Rafah Crossing being opened

October 18, 2023 at 3:20 pm

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry gives a speech in Cairo, Egypt on October 14, 2023. [Murat Gök – Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that attempts to distort the Egyptian position regarding the Rafah crossing are “unacceptable”, noting that the Rafah crossing was targeted by Israeli shelling four times and hence it does not operate normally.

Minister Shoukry told BBC World Service yesterday that the Rafah crossing has never been officially closed by the Egyptian authorities since the beginning of the crisis in the Gaza Strip.

He stressed that work is underway with all parties to reach an agreement to send aid to the Gaza Strip. “We are in constant contact with all UN agencies to extract a safe passage for the relief aid,” Ahram Online quoted Shoukry as saying. But to this moment, he added, “no agreement has been reached with the other side on the crossing.”

Egypt’s top diplomat pointed out that Israel’s call for Palestinians in Gaza to leave Gaza City and move south completely contradicts international humanitarian law, and leaving people without water, electricity and food also violates international laws.

On Monday, Shoukry said that the Israeli government has not yet adopted a position that would allow the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian and international aid convoys are positioned in Egypt’s Al-Arish awaiting orders for the crossing to be opened to allow them to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.

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