Egypt rejects safe corridors but plans humanitarian aid for Gazatext_fields
Cairo: Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Egypt has engaged in discussions with the United States and other stakeholders to provide much-needed humanitarian aid through its border with Gaza.
However, according to undisclosed security sources, Egyptian authorities reject the establishment of safe corridors for refugees fleeing the enclave.
The coastal strip of Gaza, home to 2.3 million people living under a blockade since 2007, has recently escalated violence following a deadly incursion by Hamas fighters into Israel.
Egypt, a historical mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, has consistently maintained restrictions on the flow of Gaza Palestinians into its territory.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed ongoing consultations with Israel and Egypt regarding the possibility of establishing safe passages for civilians from Gaza. However, Egyptian security sources, preferring anonymity, emphasized Egypt's rejection of this proposal, citing the preservation of Palestinians' right to their cause and land.
Amid these discussions, Egypt intensified efforts to contain the situation in Gaza, as stated by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani in Cairo.
Talks between Egypt, the US, Qatar, and Turkey have explored the idea of delivering humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing, the main exit point from Gaza not controlled by Israel. This initiative is considered under a geographically limited ceasefire.
The Rafah crossing, crucial for the movement of people and goods, has been closed since Tuesday due to Israeli bombardments on the Palestinian side. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the immediate allowance of life-saving supplies into Gaza, including fuel, food, and water. The UN emphasized the need for rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to prevent a mass exodus of Gazans.
As tensions continue to rise, Israel's ambassador in Egypt, Amira Oron, reassured that Israel has no intentions related to Sinai and has not asked Palestinians to move there. Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry emphasized Egypt's eagerness to open the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid but cautioned against instability and the potential expansion of the conflict leading to more refugees seeking safe havens, including Europe.