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Egypt calls for pressure on Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza

February 28, 2024 at 6:52 pm

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt on 09 January, 2024 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt, on Wednesday, called for international pressure on Israel to allow access to humanitarian aid in the war-battered Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, received a phone call from British Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord Tariq Ahmad, and they discussed catastrophic humanitarian conditions in Gaza, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Shoukry underlined the necessity of “full access to humanitarian and relief aid into Gaza”, the statement said.

The top diplomat called on international parties “to put pressure on Israel to remove obstacles to the entry of aid”.

Egypt, which controls the Rafah Border Crossing with the Gaza Strip, has repeatedly accused Israel of hindering the entry of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave.

Shoukry said the Palestinians are facing starvation, indiscriminate targeting and destruction of services and infrastructure.

He warned against any Israeli ground attack in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where more than 1.4 million Palestinians have taken refuge from war.

According to the statement, the two sides emphasised the necessity of intensifying efforts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza as soon as possible and swapping prisoners.

Hamas, which is believed to be holding more than 130 Israeli hostages, demands an end to Israel’s deadly offensive in return for any hostage-prisoner swap deal with Tel Aviv.

Israel has launched a war on the Gaza Strip following a Hamas attack on 7 October. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed nearly 29,954 and injured over 70,000 with mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli onslaught has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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