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Egyptian Authorities: Israel Uncooperative with Gaza Aid Delivery, Evacuations

Humanitarian aid convoy for the Gaza Strip is parked in Arish, Egypt, Oct. 16, 2023.
Humanitarian aid convoy for the Gaza Strip is parked in Arish, Egypt, Oct. 16, 2023.

ISMAILIA, EGYPT — Egyptian authorities Monday said Israel was not cooperating with delivery of aid into Gaza and evacuations of foreign passport holders via the Raffah crossing.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry Monday said, "the Israeli government has not taken a position on opening the Rafah crossing from the Gaza side to allow the entrance of assistance and exit of citizens of third countries."

Talks with Israel had not been fruitful, Shoukry added.

Cairo reports the Rafah crossing, a potentially vital opening for supplies into the besieged Palestinian enclave, is not officially closed but is inoperable due to Israeli air strikes on the Gaza side.

Despite the sentiments passed by Egyptian authorities, a source that was at Rafah said there were no bombardments on Monday and that the Egyptian side of the crossing was ready.

More than 2 million Gazans have been under siege since Israel launched an intense bombardment and blockade in retaliation to an assault by the Hamas Islamist militants.

Two Egyptian security sources said Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire in southern Gaza with the mandate of facilitating aid and evacuations at Rafah.

The cease-fire was scheduled to last several hours.

However, Israeli authorities denied talks of a cease-fire.

"There is currently no truce and humanitarian aid in Gaza in exchange for getting foreigners out," read a statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

Hamas official Izzat El-Reshiq echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments.

Hundreds of tons of aid from NGOs and several countries were waiting on trucks in the nearby Egyptian town of Al-Arish for conditions to allow entry to Gaza, according to two sources there and a witness.

Separately, Reuters video showed U.N.-flagged fuel trucks appearing to leave Gaza for Egypt through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.