Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry and Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi in Cairo, Egypt on May 30, 2021. Press Photo
CAIRO – 30 May 2021: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry received Sunday Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi within the ongoing communication between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides to stabilize the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza Strip, according to a press statement.
Minister Shokry stressed the salience of building upon the ceasefire declaration by suspending all practices that cause tensions and escalation on Palestinian territories. Equally, the minister asserted the importance of caring about the sensitivity pertinent to Eastern Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque as well as all Muslim and Christian sacred sites.
In that context, Shokry urged taking measures that would reinforce pacification and create a climate favorable for the revival of serious negotiations between both sides as soon as possible. He added that should be coupled with abstaining from all acts that may cripple the efforts deployed to reach the two-state solution backed by Egypt.
The minister noted that the Palestinian state must be established on the borders of June 4, 1967 having as capital Eastern Jerusalem in accordance with international resolutions.
The Egyptian and Israeli foreign ministers also examined ways of facilitating the reconstruction of Gaza Strip during the coming period. They finally agreed on continuing consultation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to come up with ways of ending the current stalemate in the peace process.
On May 7, clashes began between Israeli forces in the West Bank and Jerusalem and civilians as the latter were protesting forced displacement, particularly from Sheikh Jarrah in Eastern Jerusalem, and assaults on worshippers in Al Aqsa Mosque. And, on May 10-20, Israel shelled and carried out airstrikes against Gaza Strip. The violence and aggression across Palestinian territories incurred 243 deaths, including 66 children, and 6,039 injuries, as reported by the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA).
In Gaza Strip where most deaths occurred, injuries stood at 1,910. In the West Bank, 441 Palestinian protesters were shot with live rounds, and 172 were shot with rubber-coated bullets among other injuries caused by tear gas, and beating up. As for Palestinians who got detained in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the figure is 850.
The strikes also caused the destruction of more than 2,000 residential units in Gaza Strip while 15,000 others were partially damaged, according to AP. As a consequence, 50,000 Palestinians fled from the North to the South of Gaza Strip.
Further, 31 educational establishments, including schools, colleges, and vocational training centers were demolished.
On the other hand, Magen David Agom announced that since the beginning of the "Fence Guardian" operation on May 10, 675 Israelis got injured. Moreover, the Israeli Army announced that 12 Israelis got killed, including two children, two women, and a soldier.
On May 15, the Israeli forces struck a number of towers in Gaza Strip. One of those housed the offices of a number of media outlets.
On May 14, power went off in most areas of Gaza Strip because of the Israeli aggression carried out not just from land and air but also from sea as Israeli battleships struck the shores of Shatea El Sudaneya northern Gaza.
Palestinian Ambassador to Cairo Diab al-Louh pointed out on May 23 that the damage caused by the last Israeli aggression surpasses that incurred by any other strikes launched since 2006. That is because the road network has been completely destroyed as well as 60 percent of the electricity network in addition to the damages in wastewater and water supply networks.
"Thousands of houses in Gaza have no access to electricity now. Further, 100,000 Palestinian citizens lost their homes and properties, and even their identification documents. Those need a great help from the Palestinian authority and other countries," the ambassador said encouraging Arab states to follow suit of Egypt, which had committed $500 million to the reconstruction of Gaza Strip.