A high-level Egyptian security delegation visited Israel for several hours on Wednesday, to talk with Israeli leaders on matters of concilliation with Palestinian factions.
The visit comes as part of recent Egyptian efforts to establish a truce in the Gaza Strip, and facilitate negotiations between Palestine’s mutually-antagonistic Fatah and Hamas factions.
On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all parties to support efforts led by Egypt and UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov to avoid an escalation of Israel-Gaza tensions, and address the latter’s humanitarian crisis.
A spokseman added that Guterres was “encouraged to see that those concerned have responded to calls to avoid the devastating impact of yet another conflict on the civilian population in and around Gaza”.
Guterres also welcomed Israel’s decision to reopen its controlled crossing of goods into the Gaza Strip, which was closed for about six weeks due to tension on the border between the two sides.
Otherwise, the strip continues to face a total air and sea blockade.
In 2017, The United Nations report officially declared Gaza “unlivable”. Data from the Palestinian Water Authority estimates that 90% of Gazan drinking water is toxic, unemployment is at 43% according to the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and 40% of Gazan children suffer from anemia and malnutrition, with “with adverse consequences on child growth, development, and survival”.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm