Cairo, Feb 10 (EFE).- Egypt said Saturday that negotiations for a truce in Gaza were complicated and that the situation was likely to worsen given Israel’s plans to extend its offensive to the south of the enclave, something Cairo rejected as part of “a systematic policy to displace” Gazans.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, addressing a press conference in Cairo, said their goal was to achieve a “comprehensive ceasefire” but the situation was evolving negatively, and that Israeli statements and actions in southern Gaza, in Rafah, indicated that there would be more civilian casualties.
Shukri said the existence of 1.4 million people in such a small territory without being able to protect themselves from such military operations indicated that the situation was serious.
He underlined that increased military operations would have “dangerous repercussions,” and it was a part of Israel’s “systematic policy” towards the forced displacement of Gazans, which Cairo was firmly opposed to.
Egypt is a key mediator, along with Qatar, in negotiations for a truce between Israel and Hamas, and in the past two days, it hosted a delegation from that Palestinian Islamist group and another from Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Cairo in an attempt to bring their views closer together and prepare a mixed proposal that may be acceptable to Israel.
Shukri emphasized that Egypt continued its efforts for a truce, with the release of hostages and prisoners and a comprehensive ceasefire for the entry of aid and to prevent the displacement of Palestinians.
Egypt, bordering Rafah, which is not controlled by Israel, and through which aid crosses to Gaza, has repeatedly rejected the displacement of Gazans to its territory in the face of Israeli military operations.
Cairo, along with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, have strongly condemned the extension of the Israeli offensive to Rafah, and called for intervention by the United Nations Security Council to prevent an “imminent” humanitarian catastrophe in the enclave. EFE