In a recent development, Chairman of State Information Service (SIS), Diaa Rashwan, has dismissed the allegations made by the Israeli defense team before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding Egypt’s role in hindering the entry of humanitarian and relief aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Rashwan highlighted the inconsistency and falsehoods in the Israeli claims, as summarized below:

  1. Israeli officials, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense, and the Minister of Energy, have repeatedly declared their intention to block aid, especially fuel, from reaching Gaza Strip during the ongoing conflict. This stance clearly demonstrates their intention to use aid as a weapon in their battle against Gaza Strip.
  2. Despite acknowledging their blockade as a violation of international law, the Israeli authorities have resorted to blaming Egypt in an attempt to evade potential condemnation from the ICJ. However, it should be noted that Egypt’s sovereignty only extends to its side of the Rafah crossing, while the other side falls under the authority of the occupation. Consequently, aid entering Gaza Strip from the Egyptian side is subjected to inspection by the Israeli army before being allowed entry.
  3. Egyptian authorities have repeatedly emphasized the openness of the Rafah crossing from their side, calling on Israel to refrain from obstructing the flow of humanitarian aid. Many high-ranking officials, such as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, have attempted to cross the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side, only to be prevented by the Israeli army or deterred due to the ongoing bombings in Gaza Strip.
  4. During negotiations for humanitarian truces in Gaza Strip, involving Egypt, Qatar, and the United States, the Israeli side demonstrated inflexibility in determining the amount of aid to be allowed into the Strip. This resultantly led to the cessation of aid shipments during that period.
  5. In response to Israeli obstruction at the Karm Abou Salem crossing, Egypt has taken the initiative to dispatch Egyptian trucks and drivers, after proper inspection, directly into Gaza Strip to distribute aid to its residents.
  6. The fact that US President Joe Biden has encouraged the Israeli occupation army to open the Karm Abou Salem crossing, in order to facilitate aid entry, further confirms the Israeli control over aid flow and their deliberate obstruction of it.
  7. If the Israeli authorities genuinely want food, medical supplies, and fuel to reach Gaza Strip, they have six crossings with the territory that they must immediately open for trade purposes. It is worth noting that trade with Gaza Strip has benefited the Israeli commercial and industrial sector significantly, with over $4.7 billion trade in 2022 alone.
  8. Egypt firmly denies the allegations put forth by the Israeli defense team before the ICJ, affirming their efforts to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza Strip while urging Israel to fully comply with their responsibilities in facilitating trade and aid flow to the region.

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