Egypt on Monday slammed statements by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich holding Egypt responsible for Hamas’ 7 October cross-border attacks against Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.
In a statement, Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid described Smotrich’s statements as “totally unacceptable (and) irresponsible.”
He added that the remarks “only reveal a hunger for killing and destruction, and sabotage of any attempt to contain the crisis in the Gaza Strip.”
Speaking to his right-wing Religious Zionist Party, Smotrich said Egypt “bore considerable responsibility for what happened on 7 October.”
He also urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to send an Israeli security delegation to Egypt to attend a meeting on the war.
Israeli public broadcaster KAN said Israel intends to send a delegation on Tuesday to Cairo to attend a meeting scheduled to be attended by Egyptian Intelligence Director Abbas Kamel, US CIA Director William Burns, and Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to discuss a possible prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas.
Israel believes there are 134 Israelis held in Gaza, after the Israeli army had managed early on Monday to free two Israelis held in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.
The Israeli onslaught has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.