US’ Blinken arrives in Egypt to bolster Gaza cease-fire

Wednesday’s visit is the first by Blinken to Egypt since he took office.

US’ Blinken arrives in Egypt to bolster Gaza cease-fire

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Cairo on Wednesday on the third stop of his Middle East tour to solidify a cease-fire between Gaza-based Palestinian factions and Israel, according to Egyptian media.

The top US diplomat is scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during his brief visit, Shorouk newspaper reported.

Blinken started his tour in Israel on Tuesday where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on the cease-fire and the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip. He is scheduled to visit Jordan after Egypt.

“The US is providing more than $360 million of urgent support for the Palestinian people. We will galvanize the international community to make more aid available for humanitarian and development efforts,” Blinken wrote on Twitter.

Wednesday’s visit is the first by Blinken to Egypt since he took office.

On Friday, an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel came into effect, putting an end to 11 days of the worst cycle of fighting in years.

At least 254 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and 39 women, and more than 1,900 others injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, according to Palestinian medics. At least 31 Palestinians were also killed in Israeli attacks in the occupied West Bank.

Thirteen Israelis were also killed by Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

According to the Palestinian Public Works Ministry in Gaza, 258 buildings — around 1,042 residential and commercial units — were destroyed during the Israeli onslaught. Another 769 units were severely damaged, rendering them uninhabitable, and 14,536 suffered minor damage.

Seventeen hospitals were damaged, as well as 53 schools.

AA

Hüseyin Demir

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