The Outer

FM: Governance of Gaza is up to Palestinian People but Talks Premature

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said decisions related to the governance of Gaza should be dealt with by the Palestinian people.

In remarks to media, Shoukry said Egypt considers the Palestinian government and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as representatives of the Palestinian people, which should be able to govern Gaza and the West Bank.

However, Shoukry said it is “too early” to think about how Gaza will be governed while the final outcome of the ongoing military activities in the enclave is still unclear. Shokry added that it is also unclear to how extent will Israel achieve its strategic objectives in Gaza.

Shoukry has held meetings with top officials and media professionals in Washington, where he highlighted the need for halting the war in Gaza and protecting civilians, in line with international law and international humanitarian law.

On the sidelines of his visit, Shoukry, alongside the foreign ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar held a meeting with US Senator Ben Cardin, Chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the situation in Gaza.

The Arab ministers highlighted the important role of the United States, as a permanent member of the Security Council, to put an end to the war in Gaza and stop the continued Israeli aggression against Palestinian civilians.

They said they look forward to a categorical position by the US with regard to providing protection to Palestinian civilians and ending humanitarian suffering of Gaza population.

This aspired position comes in line with the provisions of international law and international humanitarian law without selective practices with regard to applying those standards, the ministers noted.

The foreign ministers conveyed the unified position of the Arab and Islamic countries regarding the inevitability of reaching a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. This aims to preserve the lives of Palestinian civilians and allow the delivery of urgent humanitarian and relief aid to the Palestinian people.

They stressed the necessity of stopping Israeli policies of collective punishment and holding them accountable for the violent bombing, siege, and total destruction of infrastructure.

They also underlined their categorical rejection of the policies of forced displacement of Palestinians inside or outside their lands.

The foreign ministers also stressed the importance of returning to the path of just and lasting peace within a specific time frame to achieve coexistence in the region on the basis of the two-state solution. They highlighted the need for establishing an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

During the meeting, Shoukry underlined the humanitarian and security risks of expanding Israeli military operations in southern Gaza, which comes as a continuation of the “inhumane” Israeli bombings and siege.

Israeli occupation also forced the Palestinian civilians to flee to the southern Gaza Strip and then besieging and targeting them under the pretext of their military operations there, Shoukry said, considering this matter a “blatant violation” that revealed Israel’s indifference to all provisions of international humanitarian law and its obligations as the occupying power.

Shoukry called on all international parties to coordinate efforts to fully implement the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions to impose humanitarian pause and achieve a permanent ceasefire.

He also stressed the need to stop all Israeli attacks and violations against the besieged Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

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