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Egypt, US jointly warn against regional escalation of Gaza crisis

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reviewed joint Egyptian, Qatari and American efforts to establish a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

He also reviewed the developments in the field situation within Gaza and and the importance of intensifying efforts to calm the situation and stop military escalation.

This came during President Sisi’s reception on Sunday of the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, in the presence of the head of Egyptian General Intelligence Abbas Kamel.

Sisi stressed the serious threat of famine in Gaza Strip, which necessitates concerted international efforts to press for the immediate entry of relief aid to all areas of the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian presidential spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy explained that the meeting saw consensus on the necessity of protecting civilians and the risk of military escalation in the Palestinian city of Rafah – as well as a complete rejection of the displacement of Palestinians from their lands.

The president stressed the need to work seriously towards a just settlement of the Palestinian issue through the two-state solution, warning against the expansion of conflict that will harm regional security and stability.


Negotiations underway on Sunday

Negotiations began on Sunday in Cairo to discuss ways towards reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and settling a deal that would allow the exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hamas.

Prominent figures participating in the discussions include the Director of Egyptian Intelligence, the Director of the CIA, the Director of the Israeli Shin Bet and the Prisoner Affairs Officer in the Israeli army, in addition to the Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani.

The main demands of Hamas include a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the return of displaced persons, in addition to concluding a “serious” exchange deal for Palestinian detainees and Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

A Hamas source, speaking under anonymity, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that “The time has come for a ceasefire and for the international community to bear its responsibility, especially after the change in the Chinese, Russian, and American international mood in their calls for a ceasefire.”

He added that Hamas continues adhering to its four principles: a complete ceasefire, the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza, the return of the displaced from the south to the north, and the introduction of aid with reconstruction.

The Cairo negotiations will be conducted on the principle of a permanent ceasefire, the source added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the beginning of his government meeting: “I made clear to the international community that there will be no ceasefire in Gaza without the return of the abductees.”

“We are ready to reach an agreement to release the hostages from Gaza, but we are not ready to yield to Hamas’ exaggerated demands.”

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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