Egypt, US Reject Any Israeli Ground Operation In Gaza's Rafah: Top Diplomats

(MENAFN- IANS) Cairo, April 13 (IANS) Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken affirmed their rejection of any Israeli ground military operation in the southernmost Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

During a phone conversation, the two top diplomats discussed efforts to achieve a ceasefire and increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Friday in a statement.

Shoukry stressed the need to continue to pressure Israel to comply with its responsibilities as the occupying power, stop targeting defenceless civilians, and open the land border crossings between Israel and the strip to increase the flow of aid, Xinhua news agency reported.

He also urged for removing obstacles to the entry of aid, in addition to allowing displaced Palestinians to return to their homes in northern Gaza.

The Egyptian Minister also reaffirmed his country's rejection of attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians outside their lands, saying these attempts, aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause, constitute a grave violation of the provisions of international law.

Shoukry and Blinken also touched on the growing tensions in the region, highlighting the importance of efforts to contain the ongoing escalation, given its negative effects on regional stability.

Israel has been launching a large-scale offensive against Hamas in Gaza to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on October 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage.

The over six-month-long war in Gaza has so far killed 33,634 Palestinians and wounded 76,214 others since its outbreak, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza on Friday.



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