Tue, 28 Nov 2023 - 10:19 GMT
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 - 10:19 GMT
CAIRO – 28 November 2023: A new Egyptian push for the ceasefire in Gaza to hold for a longer period and release more detainees from both sides as part of the Hamas-Israeli reached 4-day agreement that came into force on Friday and announced on Monday to extend for two more days.
Egypt's General Intelligence chief Minister Abbas Helmy has arrived on Tuesday in Doha to meet with CIA Director William J. Burns, Mossad spy agency chief David Barnea and high-rank Qatari officials. The discussions appear to be an attempt to ease the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and putting an end to the war that has been putting the region's stability on edge, with a lurking danger of expansion at any moment.
The official talks that took place, mainly aimed at ‘the extension of the currant ceasefire’ and widening the deal until reaching a sustainable truce according to well-informed source that told al Qahera news channel.
The extended reached-truce includes a daily release of 10 detainees in Gaza, women and children, in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, making the total of those released in the two days of the extended truce, 20 Israelis versus 60 Palestinians.
Egypt’s head of the State Information Service, Diaa Rashwan, said on Monday that the extended truce includes the entry of medical, food and fuel aid, as the ban on Israeli flights over the Gaza Strip will continue during the two days of the truce.
On Monday, and before the official announcement of truce extension, Israeli media reports said that the prevailing opinions in Israel are leaning towards extending the truce agreement.
The Israeli Channel 12 quoted sources saying that there is a tendency to accept an extension of the truce, after consulting with regional and international parties.
The Egyptian-Qatari cooperation in the humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip and the exchange of detainees between Hamas and Israel has proven to be a ‘fruitful and remarkable cooperation’.
On Sunday, President Abdel Fattah al Sisi praised efforts of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar, to reach a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip. In a post on his official social media page, Sisi said: “I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to Prince Tamim bin Hamad, Emir of State of Qatar, for his efforts, which integrated with the Egyptian efforts, to complete the humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip and make a prisoner swap a success.”
"I am looking forward to more joint cooperation to meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people and establish a comprehensive and just peace in the region,” he added.
In response, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani thanked President Abdel Fattah al Sisi for his efforts in mediating a humanitarian truce in Gaza.
“We highly appreciate the fruitful cooperation between the working teams of our countries that came as part of our joint efforts to achieve a humanitarian truce in Gaza,” Sheikh Tamim posted to his X account.
Sheikh Tamim said the Egyptian-Qatari integration demonstrates a joint Arab commitment to implementing the resolutions adopted during the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit held in Riyadh earlier this month, to attain a just and lasting peace in Palestine.
During its intensive communications with world leaders, Egypt was keen on underlining the necessity of reaching sustainable political solution in Gaza based on the two-state solution, establishing the Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders having as capital Eastern Jerusalem.
On Sunday, Egypt’s Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry discussed with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken the updates in Gaza, as he underscored the necessity of building on the temporary truce to reach a “permanent ceasefire and sustainable delivery of aid to all sections of Gaza Strip” in alignment with the provisions of the UN Security Council resolution issued on November 15.
In comments to media on the sidelines of the eighth ministerial forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona which is dedicated this year to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip, Shoukry said: “The Creation of a Palestinian state is the only viable manner in which to end the conflict, a state on the borders of 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital living in peace and security side by side with the state of Israel. The Arab Initiative of 2002 was clear in strategic initiative with the Arab states to create peace and create normalization on the basis of the craton of the state of Palestine. We still are strongly advocating this and working for it,” he added.
“There is a consensus that the situation in Gaza is a very serious one; it is a challenge to the security in the region; and it is also a humanitarian crisis that has to be addressed that this situation of occupation that [...] lasted for 75 years must end,” Shokry stated.
During her visit to the hospitalized Palestinians in Egypt’s al Arish city on Monday, Health Minster of Gaza Mai Al Kaila said that the number of victims of the Israeli bombing in the Strip had risen to 16,000 dead and 35,000 injured.
She added that the number of missing people in the Gaza Strip reached 6000, including 1,700 children.
Al Kaila also confirmed that 56,000 housing units were completely destroyed, 240,000 homes were partially destroyed, and 60 percent of the infrastructure was damaged.
Since the biggening of the Israeli military aggression against Gaza, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi affirmed in several speeches Egypt’s firm stance regarding the Palestinian cause the refuses the liquidation of the cause, the violence against civilians, and the ‘to collective punishment through blockades, starvation, or displacement.’
Sisi stressed the need to de-escalate the situation and for the international community to bare it’s responsibilities in this regard.
The president stressed that Gaza crossing boarder was ‘never closed’.
On November 23, in his speech at “Long Live Egypt: A People’s Response in Solidarity with Palestine” conference, Sisi said that “We have always spoken rationally, wisely, calmly, and patiently, but no one should think that our speech contains any weakness. Therefore, we affirm: No displacement of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to Egypt.”
Sisi confirmed in his speech: “You all must know that Rafah crossing was never closed, but was bombed four times by Israeli forces from the Palestinian side.”
He explained that the decision was always to continue opening the Rafah crossing, for the flow of food, medical and fuel aid, as well as to receive the wounded and injured.
“The aid that Egypt brought into the Gaza Strip amounted to about 12,000 tons, transported by 1,300 trucks, including 8,400 tons provided mainly by the Egyptian state, through the Egyptian Red Crescent, the National Alliance for Civil Development Work, and the Long Live Egypt Fund, which means 70% of total aid.” Sisi said
He noted that “We have also designated Al-Arish International Airport to receive aid planes coming from abroad, with a total of 158 flights.”
“I assure you in clear terms and sincere words that we are determined to move forward, in the face of this crisis, adhering to the historical rights of the Palestinian people” Sisi said.