Egypt’s Shoukry tells Blinken: IDF operations in Rafah pose ‘grave security risks’

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry tells US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that continued Israel Defense Forces operations in Gaza, and especially in the southern city of Rafah, which sits on the border with Egypt, have “grave security risks.”

In his phone call with Blinken, Shoukry also stressed the need to restart aid deliveries to Gaza after the two diplomats discussed the IDF seizure of the Palestinian side of the Rafah Border Crossing last week, the Egyptian foreign ministry says in a statement.

Currently, the Kerem Shalom Crossing is being used for humanitarian aid deliveries to southern Gaza, while the Nitzana Crossing with Egypt is being used to inspect some of the trucks.

The Rafah Crossing between Egypt and Gaza, the Strip’s main entrance for humanitarian aid since the war began, is currently closed during IDF operations in the area, making additional openings into Gaza critical, especially in the event of a full-scale offensive on Rafah, which Israel says is essential for dismantling Hamas.

In addition, three crossings are currently being used to transfer humanitarian aid from Israel to Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip: Western Erez, opened yesterday; Eastern Erez, opened earlier this month adjacent to the existing Erez Crossing; and Gate 96, the military’s entrance to central Gaza’s Netzarim Corridor, used for the first time for aid deliveries in March.

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