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Chief Egypt, EU diplomats discuss Gaza war, call for ceasefire, aid delivery

A designated area for displaced people burns after an Israeli strike against the city of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on May 27, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell have underlined the urgent need for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, and an end to the Israeli military’s offensive on Rafah in the southern part of the coastal sliver.

They made the calls during their Sunday meeting in Brussels, where they exchanged viewpoints on the escalating crisis in Gaza.

Both parties stressed that safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip must be ensured in order to address the immediate needs of its local residents.

They also emphasized that Israel must respect international humanitarian law, protect humanitarian workers, and refrain from targeting international aid agency premises.

Shoukry reiterated Egypt’s concerns about the catastrophic humanitarian and security repercussions of Israeli assaults in Rafah.

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He urged Israel to comply with its obligations as the occupying power by removing all obstacles to aid delivery, opening up all land crossings between Gaza and the Israeli-occupied territories, and providing safe conditions for international aid teams to receive and distribute aid within the strip.

The Egyptian foreign minister also affirmed Egypt’s rejection of the Israeli regime’s exploitation of its control over Gaza’s crossings to tighten the blockade, starve the Palestinian people, and create an uninhabitable situation.

He went on to stress Egypt’s absolute refusal of any attempts to displace Palestinians from their land or liquidate the Palestinian cause.

Both Shoukry and Borrell explored ways to contain the Gaza crisis’s repercussions and support the political path toward a so-called two-state solution.

Shoukry emphasized the crucial role of influential international bodies in stepping up efforts aimed at halting the Israeli offensive against Gaza and ending the bloodshed.

Israel launched its atrocious onslaught against the Gaza Strip, targeting hospitals, residences, and houses of worship since Palestinian resistance movements launched a surprise attack, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm, against the usurping regime on October 7.

At least 35,984 Palestinians have been killed, most of them women and children, and another 80,643 individuals have sustained injuries. More than 1.7 million people have been internally displaced during the war as well.

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