Egyptian President Meets US Secretary of State
On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi held a meeting with the United States Secretary of State Antony Blicken. He told the US official that the activities executed by Israel in Gaza were now beyond its right to defend itself. Sissi claimed that Israel’s approach to the war was no longer targeting the Hamas terrorists but the entire population in Gaza.
Blinken arrived in Israel last Thursday and then visited Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar before landing in Egypt on Sunday morning. Per a press release from his office, Blinken will fly to Israel today for further discussions in an effort to cool down the ongoing war.
While speaking to the US Secretary of State, Sissi claimed that Jews in Egypt were never oppressed. He explained that he lived near the Jewish community during his early days and never saw Egyptians target the Jews.
The number of Jews in Egypt has been declining since 1940, when the Jewish community in the Arabic country comprised over 80,000 people. Today, less than 20 Jews are left in Egypt. Most of the Jews in Egypt left the country due to harassment and the Arab-Israeli wars. Moreover, some were banished by Egypt’s then-President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Sissi and Blicken Discussions
Sissi’s office has released a report of Sunday’s discussions between Blicken and the President. Per the report, the two emphasized the need to address the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. They want innocent civilians to be protected and assisted where necessary.
Blicken’s statement, on the other hand, stressed the United States’ objective of preventing the ongoing war from spreading. In addition, the US Secretary of State said the government was working to ensure all American citizens in Gaza are evacuated safely.
Israel Direct Northern Gaza Residents to Leave the Area
Meanwhile, Israel wants over one million people based in northern Gaza to leave the area as the Israel Defense Forces plan to invade Gaza City to engage Hamas in ground battles. As of this writing, thousands of residents are reported to have fled to southern Gaza. Egypt is currently facing pressure to let displaced Palestinians enter its territory, given that it has been a major intermediary between Hamas and Israel over the years.
However, the Cairo National Security Council has strongly rejected the idea, arguing that the move to welcome Palestinians will put Egypt’s economy and national security at risk.