CAIRO- 16 October 2023: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that Egypt has been seeking to have the Rafah crossing permanently operational for the entry of aid, normal movement and the passage of foreigners since the beginning of the crisis outbreak; however, the Israeli government has not taken any steps that allows the crossing opening from the other side.
“We’ve been conducting communications with all world leaders, lastly with UN secretary general, who was discussing if Israel has responded to any of the initiatives to allow the humanitarian aid entry, but unfortunately, we explained that so far, we did not get any response.” Shokry said
During a joint press conference with French counterpart Catherine Colonna, on Monday Shoukry affirmed that ‘Egypt is fully prepared at any time to meet the needs of the Palestinians or to allow normal movement, but we hope that there will be a breakthrough soon for this current crisis, because the situation is serious, Palestinian people are suffering and the displacement led to additional pressures. Civilians were forced to move south without any means of aid or help’.
Shoukry also affirmed Egypt's refusal to ‘liquidate the Palestinian issue’ and stressed the need ‘for an immediate end to violence and escalation’ and allowing the aid to pass for civilians, along with working on a comprehensive political solution that guarantees the rights of the Palestinians to establish their state on the 1976 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Conflict news circulated on Monday morning regarding a short hamartian aid truce to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid through Rafah crossing border according to US and Israeli media reports; however, shortly later both Palestinian and Israeli sides denied these reports. No official statements have been issued so far to confirm any ceasefires
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees [UNRWA] announced in its report, Monday that over 1 million people so far have been displaced from Gaza, some 600,000 Internally displaced persons are in the Middle Area, Khan Yunis and Rafah, of those, nearly 400,000 are in UNRWA facilities.
UNRWA also said the number of killed is increasing, and ‘there are not enough body-bags for the dead in Gaza.’
The report noted that Gaza still has had no electricity, ‘pushing vital services, including health, water and sanitation to the brink of collapse, and worsening food insecurity’.
Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh asked the international community and countries around the world to donate to the Palestinians and to help them through the humanitarian crises they are witnessing.
In a brief press conference, Shtayyeh demanded all services be provided in Gaza again. He also thanked everyone who showed support to civilians suffering in the stripe.
‘I thank all the capitals of the world and the people who expressed their solidarity with us’, Shtayyeh said.
In a latest death toll announced by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, nearly 2.808, people have been killed, other 10.950 were injured as a result of the Israeli aggression on Gaza.
On Sunday, the UN announced that reserves of fuel at all hospitals in Gaza Strip are expected to last only for 24 hours, and that the shutdown of backup generators would place the lives of thousands of patients at risk.