Egypt, US agree to deliver aid to Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing

Cairo, May 25 (IANS) Egypt and the US have agreed on sending large quantities of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The decision was made on Friday during a phone conversation between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his US counterpart Joe Biden, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to an Egyptian presidential statement, this would be a temporary procedure until “a legal mechanism is reached” to resume the operation of the Rafah crossing from the Palestinian side.

The statement did not detail with whom the mechanism would possibly be reached, but the White House said Friday that Biden, via the phone talk, expressed his commitment to support efforts to reopen the Rafah crossing with arrangements acceptable to both Egypt and Israel and agreed to send a senior team to Cairo next week for further discussions.

The Rafah crossing had served as a major entry point for humanitarian aid into Gaza before the Israeli military, which is a war with Gaza-ruling Hamas, took control of it on May 7, forcing the aid delivery there to a halt. The next day, Israel announced the reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing between it and Gaza.

The Kerem Shalom crossing, known in Egypt as the “Karam Abu Salem crossing,” sits south of the Rafah crossing and at the junction of two borders — one between Egypt and Gaza and the other between Israel and the enclave.

In the phone talk, the two leaders also called for intensifying international efforts to end the protracted humanitarian crisis in Gaza, said the Egyptian presidency.

They rejected any attempt to displace the Palestinians from their land, affirming their support for all means aimed at preventing the aggravation and expansion of the conflict, it noted.



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