Julie Webb-Pullman reports

Egyptian Prime Minister Leads High-Level Solidarity Delegation to Gaza

The Palestinian government today welcomed to Gaza an Egyptian delegation headed by Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, which included the Minister of Health, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, as well as a Presidential Adviser, and other leading government figures.

Dr. Youssef Rizqa, Political Adviser to the Palestinian Prime Minister, said the Palestinian government greatly appreciates the decision taken by the Egyptian government to withdraw its ambassador from Israel, and that this visit, undertaken on the initiative of the Egyptian presidency, is a very important expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Rizqa stressed that Gaza needs the entire Arab and Islamic nation to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, and such visits are essential to their morale.

Rizqa termed the decision to visit “brave,” and said that it represent s a breaking of the Arab silence.

Special Adviser to the Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Da’ales described the Egyptian delegation’s visit as an official political and humanitarian one that aims to complete solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza.

He strongly denied any suggestion that the visit is linked with negotiations for re a truce with the Israeli occupation, noting that the visit will take only 3 hours, and include discussion of the general political situation and that of the Gaza Strip, as well as a quick visit to Shifa Hospital.

Visit to Shifa Hospital

On being shown the charred body of a child, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil was horrified, and said, “The Gaza tragedy cannot be tolerated.”

He added that Egypt would not hesitate in its efforts to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, to achieve calm and continuity.

Saying that Palestine is in the heart of the Arab nation, he called on the world to shoulder its responsibilities to curb Israel’s aggression, and demanded that Israel respect international conventions and law.

He noted that the Israeli aggression highlights the need for all parties to achieve Palestinian unity for the sake of the Palestinian people.

Prime Minister Qandil advised that he was accompanied by the Egyptian Minister of Health in order to discuss the needs of Gaza hospitals, and what supplies are required.

“This visit will be followed by visits of both formal and informal delegations,” he concluded.

ends

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