Egypt says Israel responsible for humanitarian crisis in Gaza

CAIRO, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday that Israel is solely responsible for the "humanitarian catastrophe" that the Palestinians are currently facing in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Shoukry made the remarks in response to the statements of Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who demanded reopening the Rafah crossing and held Egypt responsible for preventing a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Shoukry affirmed Egypt's categorical rejection of Israel's policy of "distorting facts," stressing that Israel is solely responsible for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

He said the Israeli control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, and the Israeli military operations in the vicinity of the crossing, expose the lives of relief workers and truck drivers to imminent dangers, noting it is the reason for the inability to bring aid through the crossing.

Shoukry also denounced Israel's attempts to hold Egypt responsible for the unprecedented humanitarian crisis facing the Gaza Strip as "a direct result of random Israeli attacks against Palestinians for more than seven months."

The top Egyptian diplomat called on Israel to fulfill its legal responsibility by allowing aid to enter through the land ports under its control.

Last week, Israel's military started "a precise counterterrorism operation" in Rafah city and assumed "operational control" over the Rafah crossing in Gaza. Since then, the crossing has been blocked against the movement of travelers and trucks carrying aid to more than two million Palestinians in the enclave.

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