Israeli remarks about displacement of Palestinians are irresponsible, violate international law: Shoukry

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

In response to a query from some diplomatic editors regarding the statement of the Israeli Finance Minister about the voluntary displacement of Gaza residents as the best humanitarian solution, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday that some Israeli government officials have made irresponsible statements that violate the rules and provisions of international law and international humanitarian law.

The Foreign Minister stressed that this statement reflects the Israeli government’s policy that contradicts international laws and that Egypt and the international community reject any attempt to justify and encourage the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

Shoukry deplored the portrayal of the displacement process as voluntary, pointing out that the displacement of citizens in Gaza is the result of deliberate military targeting of civilians in the Strip, and deliberate siege and starvation operations, aimed at creating conditions that force citizens to leave their homes and areas of residence, in a clear war crime according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s position that categorically rejects the policies of forced displacement of Palestinians, deliberately withholding humanitarian assistance and necessary services to create unbearable situations for civilians, or allowing the liquidation of the Palestinian issue, and that those who claim to care about the humanitarian situation in Gaza should work to stop the military operations that killed civilian children and women.

The Foreign Minister affirmed that Egypt will continue its efforts to preserve the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to stay on their land and establish their own independent, viable, and contiguous state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In a related context, Shoukry affirmed that Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians, especially women and children, amount to full-fledged war crimes, stressing the need for an immediate ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian and relief assistance to the Gaza Strip in a complete, sustainable and safe manner.

This came during the Foreign Minister’s meeting on Tuesday with the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous. The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said that the discussions between Minister Shoukry and the UN official focused on joint courses of action to reduce the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip and the serious Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians, including children and women, in violation of the provisions of international law and international humanitarian law.

Minister Shoukry stressed the need for the international community to shoulder its responsibility to stop Israel’s practices of collective punishment, siege, forced displacement, and destruction of infrastructure against the residents of the Gaza Strip, noting the necessity to call these violations by their names, which have claimed the lives of more than 11,000 Palestinians, including more than 3,000 women and more than a third of the victims are children, and to refrain from relying on any erroneous justifications under the pretext of the right of self-defence, as well as to intensify efforts to provide and deliver the necessary assistance to the Strip according to the needs of citizens.

For her part, the UN official reviewed, during the meeting, the deteriorating situation of women and children in the Gaza Strip, especially in light of the presence of more than 55 thousand pregnant women in the Gaza Strip and the continuous shelling of hospitals and their inability to provide healthcare to the injured and sick.

She also listened to Shoukry’s assessment of Egypt’s efforts and contacts on the political and humanitarian tracks, where the foreign minister stressed the need for the international parties to adopt serious and clear positions within the framework of their legal and political obligations under the provisions of the law and international agreements to stop this war immediately.

The UN official thanked Egypt for its great and capable efforts to deal with the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, treat the injured, and mobilize international support to provide humanitarian and relief assistance. 

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