Behind the scenes of the Egyptian-American negotiations: safe passage and the entry of aid into Gaza

Behind the scenes of the Egyptian-American negotiations: safe passage and the entry of aid into Gaza

Egyptian sources familiar with Cairo’s efforts to stop the escalation in the occupied territories and the Gaza Strip revealed extensive communications between officials in Cairo and the American administration in order to reach urgent solutions regarding the humanitarian situation in the Strip, while a statement from the Egyptian presidency stated that “Egypt is making efforts and intensifying communication to contain the situation in Gaza". 

A high-ranking Egyptian source said, in exclusive statements to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the ongoing consultations are taking place within the framework of humanitarian situations only at the present time, revealing that the American administration has discussed with Egyptian officials the possibility of arranging safe passage for foreigners in the Gaza Strip and those holding American citizenship to reach the port. Rafah crossing and from there to Egypt.

On the other hand, the same source explained that Cairo called on officials in Washington to put pressure on Tel Aviv to bring in urgent aid, represented by medicine and fuel.

The source indicated that Cairo conveyed field estimates to officials in Washington indicating an imminent disaster if urgent and necessary aid was not allowed to pass through, noting that there are arrangements between Egypt, Qatar and Turkey to finance urgent aid packages through the Rafah crossing if an agreement is reached with the Israeli side.

The source explained that Egypt received messages from Hamas indicating the movement’s unwillingness or inclination to push citizens toward the border with Egypt, stressing that the movement’s arrangements during the recent operation did not include allowing the evacuation of Gaza under any circumstances.

The movement explained, in its messages to Cairo, according to the source, that what is happening at the humanitarian and living level, in terms of targeting residential buildings, infrastructure, and hospitals, is beyond what citizens in the Strip can bear, which could lead to an unplanned spontaneous explosion.

According to the source, Egypt is seeking, through arranging and coordinating international and Arab efforts, to persuade the American administration to change its positions and put pressure on Israel to allow aid to pass through.

The source indicated that the arrangements at the Rafah crossing are fully prepared for the passage of aid at any moment, as long as an agreement is reached with officials in Washington and Tel Aviv.

On the other hand, another source said that although “Cairo is upset that Hamas and the resistance movement carried out that operation without any indications from Cairo, the Egyptian anger on the other hand against the occupation government can be described as great, especially since yesterday, Tuesday, after Israeli threats.” By targeting Egyptian aid trucks heading to Gaza in an attempt to prevent an explosion that would lead citizens to storm its borders again.”

According to the same source, Egypt considered the recent Israeli position as a violation of Egyptian-Israeli relations.

The source explained that there is Israeli anger towards Cairo, revealing that Cairo was subjected to great pressure during the first day of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood from Tel Aviv and Washington to issue a statement condemning Hamas and the Palestinian resistance movement regarding the operation, which the Egyptian side confirmed was difficult, and even impossible, according to the source.

The source indicated that Cairo justified its position by saying that issuing such a statement would block the way for it to play the role of mediator again, while Tel Aviv saw that in this battle it would not need Egyptian mediation.

The source revealed that Tel Aviv, as part of its reverse messages, refused to respond to an Egyptian request for coordination in order to remove the Egyptian equipment and engineering crews working in Gaza, pointing out that the Israeli side refused to provide a pledge not to target the evacuation process, justifying this with fears that any of Hamas’ leaders might be able to pass through. Those convoys.

The authority is exerting pressure to open the Rafah crossing

Palestinian diplomatic sources said that the Palestinian Authority is exerting pressure on Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing and ensure the security of the crossing to allow the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

The sources stated that the authority is currently working on arranging medical, food, and fuel aid convoys to the Gaza Strip, and that it wants to bring them in from Egypt after the occupation refused to let them into Gaza through its crossings.

The sources explained that Cairo promised to try to coordinate the entry of aid convoys into the Gaza Strip, but it used the Israeli rejectionist position as an excuse and that it did not want to strain the relationship with Tel Aviv.