Egypt condemns Israel’s ‘excessive force’ in Gaza

Egypt condemns Israel’s ‘excessive force’ in Gaza

Cairo's Foreign Ministry calls on both sides to accept humanitarian truce as a stepping stone to a 'permanent ceasefire'

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri (photo credit: YouTube screen capture)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri (photo credit: YouTube screen capture)

Egypt on Monday condemned Israel for using what it said was “excessive force” against civilians in the Gaza Strip.

It also urged Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian movement that dominates the Gaza Strip, to abide by the “humanitarian truce” proposed by Cairo and backed by the United Nations to end the 21-day conflict.

“Egypt condemns the excessive use of force from the Israeli side against civilians” in the coastal enclave, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It particularly condemned strikes on a hospital and a beachfront refugee camp in Gaza City, but did not blame either the Israeli military or Hamas.

Palestinian medical sources said the Shati UN refugee camp was hit by missiles from an Israeli warplane. But the Israeli military categorically denied the attack, saying Gazans misfired their own rocket.

The statement said Cairo “strongly condemns” the strike on Shati, which killed 10 people, eight of them children, and on Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, which Israel also denied attacking.

The missile that hit the Shati camp also wounded 46 people, many of them children.

The ministry appealed to both sides to abide by the “humanitarian truce” proposed by Cairo, saying it would pave the way for a “permanent ceasefire” based on the Egyptian initiative.

It is the “only way to preserve civilian lives, innocent blood and end the siege on Gaza that will allow our Palestinian brothers to achieve their legitimate aspiration of an independent state,” the ministry said.

Earlier on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also called on Israel and Hamas to stop the violence in Gaza.

“In the name of humanity, the violence must stop,” Ban told reporters.

The UN is backing a bid by Egypt to broker a deal to end the latest violence in Gaza that has left more than 1,050 Palestinians dead, according to the Hamas Health Ministry, and killed 50 Israelis, most of them soldiers. Israel says hundreds of Hamas gunmen are among the Gaza dead.

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