Egypt: Partners doing everything to reach cease-fire in Gaza

Egypt is doing everything possible with the support of its US and Qatari partners to reach a cease-fire in the Israeli war onslaught against the Gaza Strip, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Friday.

“It is necessary for both Hamas and Israel to show the political will, take responsibility to reach a cease-fire, and protect civilians,” Shoukry told state broadcaster, SABC, in Pretoria after bilateral talks with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor.

Egypt, Qatar and the US have been negotiating a cease-fire and the end to the Israeli war which started in October.

“It’s essential that we continue to focus on the lives and safety of the Palestinian people. Over 33,000, people have been killed, among them 20,000 women and children. It is appalling and must stop. We must reach a cease-fire, return hostages and detainees,” he said.

Shoukry said there is a need to provide humanitarian assistance to Gazans and it should be recognized that displacements constitute a war crime.

“We must regain peace and security and a political horizon to provide legitimate rights of Palestinian people and the creation of their state in line with June 1967 and East Jerusalem as its capital,” said Shoukry.


On the current escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran, he said, “The countries of the region deserve peace, security, stability and should live in harmony and cooperation,”

He said Egypt had warned that escalations would lead to a wider conflict in the region that is not to the benefit of the security of any country.

There is already a detriment to the global economy following military activities in the Red Sea, which should also be handled, he added.

Pandor said the most important issue for the international community at the moment should be the safety and lives of Palestinians.

“We should be aiming towards a cease-fire, we should be aiming to protect all Palestinian people and ending the slaughter and onslaught of Palestinians that is the key focus and we have always said we don’t want to see an escalation of hostilities — the world doesn’t need it.

“What we need is peace. What we need is stability, security and we need to ensure that this terrible tragedy is brought to an end,” said Pandor.

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