Egypt facilitating deliveries of aid to Sinai for Gaza


Despite Israeli bombardments along the border impeding assistance deliveries thus far, Egypt said on Thursday that it was sending foreign humanitarian aircraft for Gaza to an airfield in northern Sinai.

The Egyptian foreign ministry confirmed that the Rafah gate between Sinai and Gaza was still open. It said that Egypt had requested Israel to refrain from attacking the Palestinian side of the crossing following attacks that disrupted regular operations there.

Egypt, which shares a border with the southern portion of the small coastal enclave and regulates the primary departure route for the 2.3 million residents, has expressed concern about Israel’s overwhelming bombing and installation of a total siege on the Gaza Strip in response to a deadly Hamas attack on Israel.

Three assistance aircraft from Qatar and Jordan were preparing to land at Al Arish airport in northern Sinai, around 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the Gaza border. However, according to two Egyptian security sources, these flights wouldn’t take off until humanitarian corridors had been established.

Without further detail, they said that the United States had given Egypt and Jordan assurances that supplies would reach Gaza.

Israel said on Thursday that there would be no humanitarian relief in its siege of Gaza until all hostages taken by the terrorists were released in retaliation for a fatal assault by Hamas gunmen across the border last weekend.

While attempting to facilitate the supply of supplies, Egypt, a crucial mediator between Israel and the Palestinians during times of upheaval in Gaza, has also signaled that any mass migration of Gazans south across the border would be intolerable.

Since Israeli airstrikes rocked the Palestinian side of the border earlier this week, movement of registered travelers via the tightly controlled Rafah crossing has been halted.

In a joint press conference with his Lithuanian counterpart, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated, “From the beginning, we stressed the continued opening of the Rafah crossing to provide humanitarian aid, and the crossing will remain open until we meet the urgent humanitarian needs of Gaza Strip.

Israel and Egypt have enforced a blockade on Gaza ever since the Palestinian Islamist party Hamas seized the area in 2007, making it difficult for people and products to enter and exit the region.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi emphasized the need to ensure humanitarian assistance and support to the Palestinians in Gaza during a phone discussion with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday, according to a statement from Sisi’s office.

Additionally, according to the statement, Sisi briefed Sunak on Egypt’s “ongoing efforts to push for the pursuit of calm and utmost restraint to prevent sliding into bloodshed, the cost of which will be paid by more innocent people, and whose consequences will extend to the entire region.”


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