CAIRO- 16 October 2023: French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said on Monday that Paris seconds ‘the need to protect all civilians. She affirmed that the ‘situation in Gaza is dangerous and serious’, and that any further escalations may lead to the destabilization of the region.
During a joint press conference with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, Colonna called on all parties ‘to adhere to self-control and listen to the voice of reason’
“Yesterday I was in Tel Aviv and tomorrow I am heading to Beirut, as I believe that the three cities [Cairo- Beirut- Jerusalem] are the main three keys to resolving the ongoing conflict.
Colonna noted that France is one of the countries that support Egypt, ‘as we are aware of Cairo’s clear and major role to deescalate this conflict, and that is the purpose of my visit today.’
The French Foreign Minister affirmed in her statements that “There is no doubt that the siege on Gaza is considered violation of international law, and therefore we demand the opening of the crossings. The Palestinian people must be protected, and their needs must be meet.”
France’s FM added that the effects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should not fall on Egypt.
“Egypt should not bear responsibilities that should not fall on its shoulders.”
Colonna also affirmed that the aid must be allowed to cross to the civilians in Gaza Stripe.
During her statements in Cairo, Colonna aid that France allocated Є10 million in humanitarian aid to UNRWA, the Red Cross and humanitarian organizations for the favor of Palestinian people.
“We and Egypt share the same concern about the seriousness of the current situation in Gaza and we must do everything possible to avoid destabilization in the region.
Also, a political horizon must be reopened, especially in these times. This is the responsibility of the entire international community.” Colonna said
On Egypt’s international initiative in this regard, Colonna said that France welcomes Egypt's initiative to hold an international conference to avoid escalation in Gaza and to show that there is a political horizon for the current crisis.
“Egypt's initiative deserves the necessary international attention and everyone should participate in it. Peace is the only thing will ensure sustainable security for all.”
France also repeated its request, according to Colonna, for the Israeli authorities to open the crossing and allow aid to pass through.
“We must meet the needs in the Strip before the situation of civilians and foreigners in Gaza deteriorates. France has a number of employees working there and we asked to facilitate their exit because they are not safe.” French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said
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.