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Egyptian political movements condemn latest Israeli Gaza offensive

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Movements call on Egyptian authorities to “stop the offensive”, expel the Israeli ambassador

Political parties and movements in Egypt strongly condemned the deadly attacks on the Gaza strip Thursday, some calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Cairo.

The offensive, now in its fourth day, which started early Tuesday, has so far left 100 killed in Gaza, according to Gazan health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qedra.

Al-Dostour Party called on Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to exert all efforts to stop the Israeli offensive on the Palestinians of Gaza. The call was reiterated by the Salafi Al-Nour Party and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), the latter describing the offensive as a “threat to the Arab world’s national security.”

“Egypt’s consumption in its internal affairs doesn’t mean it will stand silent against the crimes of killing and collective punishment committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank or the occupied lands of Jerusalem,” Al-Dostour said in a statement released Thursday.

When violence between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories last flared up in 2012, then-President Mohamed Morsi was instrumental in brokering a shaky but lasting ceasefire.

The Revolutionary Socialists and the 6 April (Democratic Front) movement meanwhile condemned the Arab countries’ “silence” in the face of Israel’s latest offensive. Both movements condemned the Egyptian authorities for keeping the Rafah border crossing closed despite the offensive.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday urged Arab regional intervention in the wake of the latest offensive.

All political movements called for opening the border crossing to allow injured Palestinians into Egypt.

On Thursday, Egyptian authorities announced they would open the crossing to allow Egyptian hospitals to treat casualties from Gaza. Authorities would reportedly only let wounded Palestinians through the crossing.

Since Morsi’s ouster last July, the Rafah crossing has largely remained closed, with relations between the occupied territories and Egypt becoming tense. The Egyptian army has also destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the border, often used to bring crucial goods into the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Revolutionary Socialists, the 6 April movement and Misr Al-Qawia (Strong Egypt) Party also called on the Egyptian authorities to expel the Israeli ambassador to Egypt Haim Koren. The former also demanded the summoning of Egypt’s ambassador to Israel and the cancellation of the 1978 Camp David Accords.

The latest violence between Israel and the occupied territories flared up three weeks ago when three kidnapped Israeli students were found dead in the West Bank. A young Palestinian was found burned alive shortly afterwards in an apparent revenge attack.

The tensions quickly devolved into rocket attacks from Gaza and a coordinated air campaign called Operation Protective Edge by the Israelis.


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