Egypt initiative still best option for Gaza truce: FM spox
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty - YOUM7 (Archive)
By RANDA EL-BANNA

CAIRO: The Egyptian initiative was the “only way” to solve the crisis in Gaza, despite an international conference in France Saturday to which Egypt was not invited, said spokesperson for the ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Badr Abdel Atty to ON TV Saturday.

He added that Egypt is working to extend the 12-hour truce between Hamas and Israel. Although the Israeli Cabinet adopted a 4-hour extension Saturday, numerous outlets have reported that Hamas has rejected it, and the Israeli police spokesperson tweeted Saturday evening that rockets were fired towards the southern region of Israel.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced Saturday following a meeting with Qatari, American, Turkish, British, German, Italian, and EU ministers that they had a “positive” meeting, and said that they all called for the extension of the humanitarian cease-fire, as well as for a solution “which responds to the needs of Israelis for security and of the Palestinians for access and economic reconstruction.”

Head of Middle East Forum for Political Studies Dr. Samir Ghattas  told al-Tahrir channel on Friday that such a meeting held without inviting Egypt or the Palestinian authorities is a “dangerous” route, as well as an “attempt to ignore the Egyptian initiative.”

He accused the U.S. of trying to build a “Muslim Brotherhood state” on the eastern borders of Egypt, citing the demand of Hamas for the opening of the Rafah crossing, to be put under international supervision. The original Egyptian-brokered cease-fire had included instructions to open Gaza’s boarders, but did not make a specific mention of the Rafah crossing, which is a key demand for Hamas, which rejected the initiative.

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