Egypt reaffirms Israeli withdrawal from Rafah crossing as prerequisite for reopening: Senior source

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Sun, 02 Jun 2024 - 03:58 GMT

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Sun, 02 Jun 2024 - 03:58 GMT

A file photo of the Rafah Border Crossing - WAFA

A file photo of the Rafah Border Crossing - WAFA

CAIRO – 2 June 2024: Egypt has restated its unwavering position, emphasizing the requirement for Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing as a crucial condition for reopening the crossing.

A high-level source said that officials from Egypt, US, and Israel concluded a meeting in Cairo on Sunday, where they discussed the reopening of the Rafah crossing.

The Egyptian security delegation emphasized Israel's full responsibility for the obstruction of relief and humanitarian aid materials from entering Gaza.

The delegation emphasized the urgent need for the delivery of a minimum of 350 aid trucks to Gaza daily, consisting of essential supplies such as food, medical provisions, and fuel.

The Rafah crossing has been closed since Israel escalated its operations in Gaza, deploying ground troops to Rafah city near the border with Egypt on May 7.

Israeli forces took control of the Palestinian side of the crossing, triggering Egypt’s condemnation. Cairo has since refused to coordinate with Israel on aid delivery to Gaza through the crossing.

However, last week, Egyptian humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza after being redirected from Rafah to Israel's Karm Abu Salem crossing, based on an agreement between Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and US President Joe Biden.

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has held Israel accountable for the humanitarian catastrophe faced by Palestinians in Gaza.

Shoukry emphasized that Israeli control over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, coupled with military operations endangering the lives of humanitarian workers and truck drivers, remains the primary obstacle hindering aid delivery.

Since May 7, Israel has conducted relentless shelling and airstrikes in Rafah city, resulting in the deaths of dozens, the majority of whom were sheltering in tents.

A tent camp in Rafah was hit by an Israeli airstrike on Sunday, killing 45 people sheltering in the camp and prompting global condemnation.

The war in Gaza has led to one of the most severe humanitarian crises globally, with a significant number of the population displaced, infrastructure damaged, and the strip on the brink of famine.

Over more than seven months, the Israeli war has claimed the lives of over 36,400 Palestinians and injured more than 82,600 others.

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