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Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Egyptian, Israeli and US officials meeting in Cairo on Sunday “ended” their discussions on reopening Gaza’s Rafah crossing, state-linked Egyptian media said, without elaborating on the talks.

The Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border, a vital conduit for aid into the besieged Gaza Strip where famine looms after nearly eight months of war, has been closed since Israeli forces seized its Palestinian side in early May.

Al Qahera News, which is linked to Egyptian intelligence, quoted a senior official as saying that during Sunday’s meeting, “the Egyptian security delegation affirmed Israel’s full responsibility for humanitarian aid not entering the Gaza Strip.”

Cairo has refused to coordinate humanitarian assistance through the crossing since the Israeli takeover.

The official quoted by Al Qahera said Egypt reiterated its demand that “Israel withdraw from the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing so it can resume operations”.

The report did not say whether the talks in Cairo had produced an agreement.

After discussion with US President Joe Biden last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi has agreed to temporarily divert aid from Rafah by sending it into Gaza via Israel’s nearby Kerem Shalom crossing.

The senior official said Egypt had called for “immediate action to bring at least 350 aid trucks into the strip every day”.

The United Nations says a daily minimum of 500 trucks are needed to meet Gazans’ basic needs.

Aid has slowed to a trickle in recent weeks, as authorities in Gaza have warned of a rise in deadly malnutrition across the war-ravaged territory amid ongoing Israeli bombardment.

In nearly eight months, Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has killed at least 36,439 people, mostly civilians, according to the territory’s health ministry.

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