Sisi, Biden agree on ‘sustainable’ aid delivery to Gaza via Rafah crossing

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, agreed on the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing “in a sustainable manner,” the Egyptian presidency said on Thursday in a statement. In a phone conversation, Biden appreciated Egypt’s efforts toward achieving peace and stability in the region, the statement added. Relevant authorities in the two countries will coordinate with international humanitarian organisations under the supervision of the UN to secure the arrival of aid, it said. The talks came hours after Biden wrapped up a visit to Tel Aviv, Xinhua news agency reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sisi expressed Egypt’s firm support for the Palestinian people and its strong rejection of any attempt to relocate them to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. On Wednesday, Israel’s wartime cabinet decided to allow basic humanitarian aid from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, a development that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry described as “positive”. Over the last few days, tons of humanitarian aid supplies from Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Turkey and the WHO have been waiting near the Rafah crossing to be delivered to Gaza but blocked by Israeli bombardments. On October 7, Hamas showered Israel with thousands of rockets in a rare surprise attack, to which Israel responded with massive airstrikes on Gaza and punitive measures, including a siege on the enclave with supplies of clean water, electricity, fuel, and other necessities cut off. The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has killed more than 4,000 people on both sides.