Turkish efforts serve Gaza ceasefire initiative: Egypt FM

Shoukri says Turkish and Qatari efforts serve the same goal of the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, namely preventing more Palestinian victims

Turkish efforts serve Gaza ceasefire initiative: Egypt FM

World Bulletin/News Desk

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri on Saturday said that efforts made by both Turkey and Qatar to bring about a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip at the end of the day serve Egypt's ceasefire initiative, which aims to prevent more casualties in the Palestinian territory.

Addressing the media during a press conference with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in Cairo, Shoukri said he did not know of any other country that proposed an initiative for bringing about this ceasefire.

"Turkey and Qatar make efforts with the aim of bringing about a ceasefire," Shoukri said. "All these efforts serve the same goal of the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, namely preventing more Palestinian victims," he added.

On July 14, Egypt proposed an initiative with an eye on suspending hostilities between the Palestinians of Gaza and Israel, following a week of violence then.

The initiative was warmly welcomed in Tel Aviv, but in Gaza it was received coldly by resistance movements, which said the initiative did not satisfy the demands of the Palestinian people of Gaza.

Shoukri said a long calm would serve the best interests of the Palestinians of Gaza at the end of the day because it will prevent any further casualties.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, meanwhile, described the situation in Gaza as "unacceptable".

He called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Gaza. The Spanish top diplomat said there is almost universal unanimity on the need for the two-state solution for both the Palestinians and the Israelis.

He expressed hopes that the Palestinians and the Israelis would sit on the negotiation table soon to solve the crisis between Israel and Gaza.

A 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire came to an end in Gaza at 17:00 GMT on Saturday, but the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said it would not abide by an Israeli four-hour extension announced earlier in the day.

Hamas had already started firing rockets on Israel and a 36-year-old Palestinian was killed in central Gaza only a short time after the ceasefire came to an end.

The new fatality brings to 1047 Gaza's death toll from Israel's attacks since the beginning of Israel's war on Gaza on July 7. As many as 5900 more Gazans were injured since the beginning of this war, according to Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra.

Around 40 Israeli troops were also killed in combat in Gaza, while three Israeli civilians were killed since the beginning of the war.   

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2014, 00:59

Muhammed Öylek