Amid violence, escalations, Egypt searches for peace in Gaza



Wed, 16 May 2018 - 11:55 GMT


Wed, 16 May 2018 - 11:55 GMT

Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border - REUTERS

Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border - REUTERS

CAIRO – 16 May 2018: Amid the Israeli escalations against Palestinians, Egypt has been exerting extreme efforts to support the Gazans in every possible way. In a statement issued On Monday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned “targeting the defenseless Palestinian civilians”, and opened its borders and hospitals to receive the injured.

Several diplomats, including the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, called on the international community to support Egypt's stance and aid Palestine not only to survive these escalations but to reach a political solution that guarantees peace and stability for the Palestinian people.

“This cycle of violence in Gaza needs to end, for it to end we need everyone of us to prevent an explosion that will drag everyone in the region into another deadly confrontation. The international community must step in and prevent war; we need to move forward quickly and effectively on all projects that we have been discussing for months and months to solve the energy, water and health crises of the population. We can only do this in coordination with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. But before all that, the senseless violence needs to stop,” Mladenov said during his briefing to the Security Council on the situation in Gaza on May 15.

Furthermore, in a statement issued by UK’s Minister of State for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, he said that violence in Gaza and the West Bank has been "shocking". “The loss of life and the large number of injured Palestinians is tragic, and it is extremely worrying that the number of those killed continues to rise.”

Burt added that this violence that has been witnessed in Palestine is “destructive to peace efforts”.

The statement also praised the diplomatic efforts, saying that the UK is still committed to a two-state solution. “All sides now need to show real leadership and courage, promote calm, refrain from inflaming tensions further, and show with renewed urgency that the path to a two-state solution is through negotiation and peace,” the statement read.

As a result of the escalating violence in Gaza on May 14, at least 60 people were killed, including six children, and more than 1,300 people were reportedly injured by live ammunition and rubber bullets.

In statements for Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit, he described the Israeli actions in Gaza as "war crimes". He strongly denounced the “Israeli massacres” against the defenseless Palestinians.

Egypt has been trying during the past period to achieve peace and stability for Palestinians through several ways, including signing a reconciliation agreement between the rival movements of Fatah and Hamas in October 2017 in Cairo. It was believed that this reconciliation will pave the way for further peace talks.

Egypt’s government also has been opening Rafah crossing constantly to allow the passage of humanitarian cases. Rafah border crossing is one of the most important crossings between Egypt and Gaza which was formally under Gazan authorities’ control.

This crossing is mainly specialized for individual movements across borders, and was being prepared for the transfer of goods between the two courtiers. The importance of Rafah border crossing increased after Israeli forces destroyed the Yasser Arafat International Airport in 2001; which was the only airport allowing Palestinians to travel.

Palestinian authorities thanked Egypt for continuously opening the crossing in a statement issued February 21, stressing that the decision represents the Egyptian government’s keenness to ease the Palestinian people’s suffering.

On September 17, Hamas movement announced the dissolution of the administrative committee in the Gaza Strip, inviting the Government of National Reconciliation to assume its duties and hold general elections. The movement affirmed it would comply with the Social Reconciliation Accord signed in 2011.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that there is no country as vital to the Palestinian cause as Egypt due to its historical and political position in the region. “Egypt has an opinion, a position and an interest in the Palestinian cause,” said Abbas.



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