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Egypt urges all parties to exert more pressure to end Gaza conflict

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on buildings near the separating wall between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Photo)
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on buildings near the separating wall between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Photo)
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08 May 2024 12:05:56 GMT9
08 May 2024 12:05:56 GMT9
  • President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi welcomes progress in recent talks
  • Cairo warns Israel that attack on Rafah threatens over 1m in Gaza

Gobran Mohamed

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has welcomed Monday’s developments in peace talks about finalizing a truce in Israel’s war on Gaza.

El-Sisi said he was “closely following the positive developments pertinent to the ongoing negotiations to reach a comprehensive truce in the Gaza Strip.”

He called on all parties to exert more efforts to reach an agreement that will end the human tragedy of the Palestinian people and finalize the exchange of hostages and prisoners.

Hamas accepted an Egypt-Qatar mediated ceasefire proposal on Monday. The high-stakes diplomatic moves and military brinkmanship left a glimmer of hope alive — but only barely — for an accord that could bring at least a pause in the seven-month-old war that has devastated the Gaza Strip.

An armed conflict between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups has been taking place chiefly in and around the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7. It began when Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing around 1,200 people and taking 150 hostages.

Subsequent Israeli strikes against Gaza have driven around 80 percent of the territory’s population of 2.3 million from their homes and caused vast destruction to apartments, hospitals, mosques and schools across several cities.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has soared to more than 34,500 people, according to local health officials.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that it has warned of the dangers of a possible Israeli military operation in Gaza’s Rafah region, “since this escalatory act entails grave humanitarian dangers threatening more than 1 million Palestinians residing in this region.”

It called on Israel to exercise “utmost restraint, and refrain from further escalation at this extremely sensitive timing of ceasefire negotiations, spare the lives of Palestinian civilians who have been enduring an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe since the outbreak of the war.”

It said that Egypt continues talking with all parties to prevent the situation from deteriorating.

Meanwhile Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the Rafah situation with his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in a phone call.

They exchanged views regarding the possibility of Israeli forces carrying out a military operation in the besieged city.

Shoukry reiterated his warning of the dangers of an Israeli military escalation in Rafah, which is considered the last relatively safe area in the Gaza Strip and refuge for more than a million Palestinians.

The ministers stressed the urgency of reaching a truce agreement that allows for the swapping of hostages and detainees, and ensure a permanent ceasefire.

They agreed to continue talks with various parties to prevent the conflict from spreading to the region.

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