Japan and Italy support Egyptian ceasefire initiative in Gaza
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Egyptian presidency announced Friday that Japan had expressed its support for the Egyptian initiative to end the conflict in Gaza Strip.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Japanese Senior Vice Foreign Minister Nobuo Kishi and Ambassador to Egypt Toshiro Suzuki at the Ithadeya Palace, to discuss the recent development of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“The Government of Japan deeply regrets that, despite efforts by the international community including the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire, Palestinian militants did not accept the international efforts. Japan is deeply concerned that the violence between the Gaza Strip and Israel continues and subsequently an Israeli ground operation into Gaza was launched,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida said in a press statement July 18.

Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini arrived to Cairo Friday for the purpose of seeking solutions to the truce, and discussing “the Egyptian ceasefire initiative to end the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip,” Shoukry said during a press conference held with his Italian counterpart Friday.

France has renewed its call for peace in Gaza, as after Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had declared he was fully backing up the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, saying it was “still on the table” despite Hamas’ rejection of it, during his visit to Cairo.

The Arab League its Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi has been pursuing efforts with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from one side and the Swiss Ambassador to Cairo on the other side, to discuss a Palestinian demand for an urgent meeting,   in a press release Saturday.

The Egyptian initiative, supported by most Arab states, mentions opening Gaza’s borders according to the security situation, a key demand for Hamas, who rejected the initiative.

Palestinian Watan TV said on Saturday that according to the Palestinian Health Ministry as of July 19, Israeli raids killed 338 people and injured 2,556 others. The channel said 83 children were killed so far, and nearly 755 were injured, with nearly 2,000 families homeless.

Additional reporting by Nour Zulfakkar.

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