Egypt Condemns Israel’s Denial of Responsibility for Gaza Aid Crisis

Wed May 15 2024
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CAIRO: Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, on Tuesday accused Israel of denying responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip after his Israeli counterpart Israel Katz said Egypt was not allowing aid into the Palestinian territory.

The crisis intensified after Israeli troops seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing to Egypt on May 7, effectively shutting down one of Gaza’s primary humanitarian entry points. Egypt has since refused to coordinate with Israel on aid access through the Rafah crossing.

Shoukry vehemently rejected Israel’s attempt to shift blame, stating, “Egypt affirms its categorical rejection of the policy of distorting the facts and disavowing responsibility followed by the Israeli side.” He emphasized that Israel’s control of the Rafah crossing and its military operations directly endanger aid workers and truck drivers, rendering humanitarian efforts ineffective.

In response to Katz’s plea to international counterparts to persuade Egypt to reopen the crossing, Shoukry asserted that Israel bears sole responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. He emphasized that the closure of the Rafah crossing and the military operations conducted by Israel are the primary obstacles preventing aid from reaching the Gaza Strip.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed dismay over Israel’s military escalation in Rafah, condemning the actions as exacerbating an already dire situation. Guterres’ spokesman, Farhan Haq, criticized both Israel’s military operations.

Meanwhile, the UN reports that the aid crossing point from Egypt remains closed, and the nearby Kerem Shalom crossing lacks safe and logistically viable access.

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