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Sisi, Biden Agree to Facilitate Aid to Gaza via Karam Abu Salem Crossing

May 24, 2024
US President Biden and Egyptian President Sisi at a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of COP27 in 2022.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and US President Joe Biden agreed to work together to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza through the Karam Abu Salem Crossing, which is controlled by Egypt and Israel.

According to a statement released by the Egyptian Presidency, in a phone conversation with Al-Sisi, Biden expressed profound appreciation for Egypt’s persistent efforts to mediate a ceasefire and achieve a truce agreement in Gaza. The statement set out that both presidents emphasized the need for intensified international efforts to ensure the success of ceasefire negotiations and to end the prolonged humanitarian crisis affecting the Palestinian people.

During the call between Sisi and Biden, the critical shortages faced by Palestinians, including a lack of essential supplies and fuel necessary for hospitals and bakeries, was discussed. In response to these urgent needs, the two leaders agreed to work together to temporarily deliver humanitarian aid and fuel to the United Nations at the Karam Abu Salem Crossing until a legal mechanism is established to reoperate the Rafah crossing from the Palestinian side.

The call coincided with a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah and open the border crossing to allow the entry of humanitarian aid.

In their discussion, Presidents Al-Sisi and Biden reaffirmed their commitment to the two-state solution in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.

The agreement to work together to facilitate the flow of aid into Gaza through the Karam Abu Salem crossing comes after Egypt had firmly rejected any coordination with Israel regarding the flow of aid and supplies through the Rafah border crossing, insisting on dealing only with Palestinian personnel on the Palestinian side of the crossing for aid delivery.

Israeli forces took control of the Rafah border crossing earlier this month, preventing the entry of aid and supplies and angering Egyptian government officials who have insisted that Palestinians must be in control of the crossing.

Since 7 October, over 35,000 Palestinians– many of them children and women – have been reported killed in the seven-month-long war on Gaza by Israel, according to the latest data reported by WAFA Agency. An additional 79,000 people were injured with many more trapped under rubble caused by Israeli airstrikes.

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