Egypt's FM meets Abbas to discuss situation in Palestine

Cheryl Sanders
May 25, 2021

After meeting with Netanyahu, the top USA diplomat is expected to tour Ramallah, Cairo, and Amman.

The Egyption Minster also stressed that the reconstruction of Gaza should be prioritized, as Egypt announced an initiative of $500M for the reconstruction operations that will take place in coordination with the Palestinian Authority to contribute to improving the living situation for the people in Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The ceasefire that came into effect on Friday has been held so far, but it does not address the underlying issue.

He is the highest-ranking US official to visit the region since President Biden assumed office.

His remarks about "equal measures" for Israelis and Palestinians seemed to shift the tone from Donald Trump's administration, which cut aid to the Palestinian Authority and unveiled a Middle East peace plan with strong Israeli backing but no support from Palestinians. But, like many of its predecessors, it was pulled back to the Middle East by another outbreak of violence. Netanyahu, meanwhile, is fighting for his political life after a fourth inconclusive election in two years.

The death toll from the Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip that ended on Friday has reached 253, medics said on Monday.

Monday's fatal altercation took place a short distance from the occupied east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the site of regular protests against the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in favour of Jewish settlers.

Brief clashes between police and protesters broke out after Friday prayers but did not set off wider violence.

Israeli forces had moved in on Palestinian worshippers at the site, toward the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Netanyahu is unlikely to make any public concessions on Al-Aqsa or the evictions because it would be seen as giving in to Hamas' demands.

An Israeli soldier and a civilian were stabbed near a light rail station in east Jerusalem on Monday before the assailant was shot and killed by police, who described it as a terrorist attack. "During his trip, Secretary Blinken will meet with Israeli leaders about our ironclad commitment to Israel's security", Biden said in a statement.

Abbas, who canceled the Palestinian elections for the first time in 15 years last month, saw the collapse of the Fatah movement suffering an embarrassing defeat, but many Palestinians believe it has lost all legitimacy. Relatives and representatives of the Palestinian factions attended.

He will then travel on to neighbouring Egypt and Jordan. Egypt succeeded in brokering the Gaza truce after the Biden administration pressed Israel to wind down its offensive.

The association, which represents some 1,500 firms and 400,000 workers, said the loss was mostly due to employees choosing to stay at home due to the almost nonstop rocket fire from Gaza.

The administration has defended its response by saying it engaged in intense, but quiet, high-level diplomacy to support a ceasefire, which was ultimately arranged last week after Egyptian mediation. Blinken has said the time is not right for an immediate resumption in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but that steps could be taken to fix the damage from Israeli airstrikes, which destroyed hundreds of homes and damaged infrastructure in Gaza.

The narrow coastal territory, home to more than 2 million Palestinians, has been under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized power from Abbas' forces in 2007.

Other reports by iNewsToday