CAIRO, Oct 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Sunday that entry into the Egyptian-controlled Gaza Strip would be reopened and the United States was working with Egypt, Israel and the United Nations to get aid there.
Hundreds of tons of aid from several countries have been waiting for days in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to be safely delivered to Gaza and some foreign passport holders to be evacuated through the Rafah crossing.
Egypt said it had stepped up diplomatic efforts to break the deadlock.
“We have put in place, Egypt has given a lot of material support to the people in Gaza, and Rafah will be reopened,” Blinken told reporters in Cairo, adding that he had a “very good conversation” with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah. Al-Sisi.
“We’re working with the United Nations, with Egypt, with Israel, with others — we’re building a mechanism to get aid and get it to the people who need it,” he added.
On Sunday, the United States appointed veteran diplomat David Satterfield as special envoy for Middle East humanitarian affairs to lead the US response to the Gaza humanitarian crisis.
Sisi told Blinken, who is on a tour of the Middle East, that Israel had launched the heaviest attacks ever in response to the devastating incursion by Hamas on October 7.
“This reaction went beyond the right of self-defense and became a collective punishment for 2.3 million people in Gaza,” Sisi said in a joint appearance.
He said that cooperation is necessary to fight extremism and that Jews have lived freely in the Middle East in the past.
“Perhaps targeting has happened in Europe … in other countries, but it has not happened in our Arab and Islamic countries,” he said.
Israeli bombers are entering Egypt on the Gaza side of Rafah, which is not controlled by Israel outside of Gaza, hampering its operation, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told CNN on Saturday.
The US told its citizens in Gaza on Saturday that they should move closer to the crossing if it opens.
If the foreigners can cross the border, Shogri said, Egypt will help them go home.
A statement from Sisi’s office earlier Sunday, issued after a meeting of the National Security Council, said Egypt rejected any plan to relocate Palestinians to the detriment of other countries and said Egypt’s own security was a red line.
Like other Arab countries, it has said it wants Palestinians to stay on their lands and is working to provide aid.
According to the statement, Sisi also proposed holding a summit to discuss the crisis.
Eight planes helped by Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Tunisia and the World Health Organization have landed at Sinai’s Al Arish airport in recent days, and more than 100 trucks are waiting in the city for permission to enter Gaza. , according to the Egyptian Red Crescent.
Reporting by Mohamed Wali, Omar Abdel Razek, Yusri Mohamed, Humera Bamuk, Hadem Maher and Ahmed Dolba; By Adam Makari, Nafisa Eltahir and Aidan Lewis; Editing by Louise Heavens, Hugh Lawson, Andrew Cawthorne and Giles Elgood
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