Shoukry urges Israel, as occupying power, to ensure humanitarian access to Gaza, tells UN Gaza coordinator

26 days ago
Shoukry urges Israel, as occupying power, to ensure humanitarian access to Gaza, tells UN Gaza coordinator

Shoukry made his remarks during a phone call on Friday with the United Nations’ Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag.

Shoukry called for Israel to respect and protect humanitarian personnel in Gaza and refrain from targeting the headquarters of international relief agencies operating in the besieged strip.

Furthermore, the UN official briefed Shoukry on the current situation regarding the operation of the mechanism established under the UN Security Council Resolution (2720) to facilitate, coordinate and monitor the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza. 

In a recent statement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry emphasized the importance of Israel fulfilling its duties as the occupying power in the Palestinian territories. He called for the immediate opening of all land crossings between Israel and Gaza to ensure the unimpeded and secure delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt’s top diplomat has urged Israel to guarantee freedom of movement for relief crews in the strip.

In the discussion, both parties emphasized the importance of addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the urgent need for creating a safe environment for humanitarian workers to deliver aid to the residents of Gaza.

The call also discussed the dangers posed by the Israeli military operations in the Palestinian border city of Rafah and Israel’s control over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

Shoukry and Kaag called on Israel to cease its military operations in Rafah, which began on 7 May.

Since the outbreak of the war, the Rafah border crossing has served as the main pathway for thousands of humanitarian aid trucks delivering life-saving aid from Egypt, other countries, and relief agencies.

Egypt has also facilitated the evacuation of tens of thousands of dual passport holders, Egyptians, and seriously injured individuals from Gaza over the past months.

The recent Israeli capture of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt has allowed Israel control over the entry and exit of people and goods through the crossing for the first time since the withdrawal of its soldiers and settlers from the strip in 2005.

Cairo has condemned the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, warning that Tel Aviv was evading all attempts to reach a ceasefire and escalating an already bloody conflict.

Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza on 7 October, Egypt has been pushing for a lasting ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and facilitating sustained access to humanitarian aid to the strip to alleviate the suffering of 2.3 million civilians.

For over seven months, Israel, which faces growing international pressure to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza, has continued its brutal war, killing 35,303 and wounding 79,261, most of whom are women and children.