Blinken urges Egypt to ensure aid is flowing into Gaza

This handout picture from the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) shows Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi (C) being received in Manama on May 15, 2024 ahead of the 33rd Arab League Summit. (BNA (Bahrain News Agency) / AFP)
This handout picture from the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) shows Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi (C) being received in Manama on May 15, 2024 ahead of the 33rd Arab League Summit. (BNA (Bahrain News Agency) / AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Egypt to do everything it can to make sure humanitarian aid is flowing into Gaza.

Blinken tells a hearing in the House of Representatives that fighting near the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza, which Israel seized earlier this month, had made the environment for providing assistance challenging.

“So we need to find a way to make sure that the assistance that would go through Rafah can get through safely, but we do strongly urge our Egyptian partners to do everything that they can on their end of things to make sure that assistance is flowing,” Blinken said.

Yesterday, a senior US official briefing reporters offered very rare criticism of Egypt over what they said was Cairo’s withholding of UN humanitarian assistance from Gaza.

“What should be going into Kerem Shalom is the UN assistance, which is now in Egypt. Egypt is holding that back until the Rafah crossing situation settles out,” the senior administration official says.

“We do not believe that aid should be held back for any reason whatsoever. Kerem Shalom is open. The Israelis have it open. And that aid should be going through Kerem Shalom,” the official adds.

Most Popular