Egyptian, Iranian Leaders Discuss Situation in Gaza

Sun Dec 24 2023
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CAIRO: The presidents of Iran and Egypt discussed the ongoing developments in the Gaza Strip and the prospect of restoring diplomatic relations between their two countries, Arab media reported on Saturday.

Arab media citied Iranian official media as saying that the two leaders held the discussion during a telephone conversation.

According to Iranian official television President Ebrahim Raisi had called his Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. President Raisi said Tehran was ready to provide all its capacities to halt the genocide by “the Zionist regime” and send help to the people of Palestine, Iranian official TV reported.

War in Gaza

The development took place as the Palestinian health ministry said that the death toll in Gaza has reached at least 20,258 people, mostly women and children, due to ongoing relentless Israeli attacks since October 7. The statement added that in the past 24 hours alone, 201 Palestinians have been killed, and 368 others injured in the Gaza Strip.

The health ministry expressed deep concern over the continuous Israeli offensive, saying that the total number of Palestinians killed in the besieged Gaza Strip has now reached 20,258, with an additional 53,688 individuals injured since October 7.

UN chief Antonio Guterres addressed the escalating conflict, stating that four out of the five hungriest people globally are in Gaza. Guterres emphasized the UN’s commitment to responding to the intensifying conflict and the growing humanitarian crisis in the region.

Similarly, in a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Israel of deliberately escalating massacres to disrupt the implementation of the recent UN Security Council resolution aimed at boosting aid to the Strip. The UNSC on Friday passed a toned-down bid to boost humanitarian help to Gaza and called for urgent measures “to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities” following a week of vote delays and intense talks to avoid a veto by Washington.

Amid international outrage over increasing Gaza death toll in last 11 weeks of war between Hamas and Israel and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the United States abstained to permit the 15-member council to adopt a resolution drafted by the UAE. The remaining UNSC members voted for the resolution on Gaza except for Russia which also abstained.

After high-level talks to win over the US, the resolution no longer reduces Israel’s control over all help deliveries to around 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip. However, a weakening of language on a cessation of hostilities frustrated many UNSC members — including veto power Moscow—and regional countries, some of which, diplomats said, view it as approval for Israel to further act against people of Palestine.

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