Egypt pushing for deliveries of aid to besieged Gaza

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Egypt’s president called on Thursday for humanitarian relief to be provided to Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip and said Egypt continued to push to avert a further escalation that could destabilize the region.

Israel’s massive bombardment and imposition of a total siege on Gaza has caused alarm in Egypt, which shares a border with the south of the Palestinian enclave and controls the main exit point for the 2.3 million residents living there.

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Egypt has said it wants to facilitate the delivery of aid through its Rafah crossing, but has also signaled its rejection of Gaza residents being forced south across the border.

In a phone call with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “stressed the need to guarantee the regularity of humanitarian services and relief to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” Sisi’s office said in a statement.

Sisi also informed Sunak of Egypt’s “continuing efforts to push for the pursuit of calm and utmost restraint to prevent sliding into bloodshed, the price of which will be paid by more innocent people, and whose consequences will extend to the entire region,” the statement said.

Israel, which is retaliating for a deadly incursion by Hamas gunmen into Israel, said on Thursday there would be no humanitarian break to its siege of Gaza until all its hostages were freed.

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