Egypt has rejected proposals to establish corridors out of Gaza for Palestinians fleeing the ongoing conflict with Israel.
The Egyptian government is engaged in talks with Israel and the United States to allow the delivery of aid and fuel through its Rafah crossing point, but it has pushed back against the idea of an exodus of Palestinians from Gaza, citing the grave consequences it would have on the Palestinian cause.
According to a senior Egyptian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Egypt has rejected any proposal to establish corridors for Palestinians seeking safe passage out of Gaza. This comes in response to statements made by White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby, who said that the Joe Biden administration is actively working towards achieving safe passage for civilians out of Gaza.
Egypt’s state-run media has reported that Israel’s offensive in Gaza is part of a larger scheme to empty the enclave. The ongoing air raids by Israel have resulted in the death of dozens of people, including nine children in the city of Khan Younis. Officials in Gaza have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe, as the territory’s only power plant has been forced to shut down due to a lack of fuel.
In response to Hamas’s surprise attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to “destroy” the armed group. He has also announced an emergency unity government with opposition leader Benny Gantz. The death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 1,200, while the number of people killed in Israel has also reached 1,200.
The rejection of proposals to establish corridors out of Gaza by Egypt raises concerns about the plight of Palestinians trapped in the conflict zone. Without safe passage out of Gaza, civilians are left vulnerable to the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis. The Egyptian government’s emphasis on the impact such an exodus would have on the Palestinian cause suggests that they are prioritising the long-term stability and aspirations of the Palestinian people.
However, the situation on the ground in Gaza is dire. With the territory’s only power plant shut down, hospitals and other critical infrastructure are unable to function properly. The lack of fuel also exacerbates the difficulties faced by civilians in accessing basic necessities such as clean water, food, and medical supplies. The rejection of proposals for safe passage out of Gaza further compounds these challenges, leaving many Palestinians with limited options for escape.