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'Egypt to host talks with Israel, US over Rafah'

By AFP - Jun 02,2024 - Last updated at Jun 02,2024

CAIRO — Egypt will host Israeli and US officials on Sunday to discuss the reopening of the Rafah crossing, a vital conduit for aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, Egyptian state-linked media said.

Al Qahera News, which has links to Egyptian intelligence, quoted on Saturday a unidentified senior official as saying Cairo was demanding "a total Israeli withdrawal" from the terminal on Gaza's southern border with Egypt.

"An Egyptian-American-Israeli meeting is scheduled for tomorrow [Sunday] in Cairo to discuss the reopening of the Rafah crossing," the official said.

The crossing has been closed since Israeli forces seized its Palestinian side in early May, reducing aid flows into the war-torn territory to a trickle.

Since then, Egypt and Israel have blamed each other for the blocking of aid deliveries through Rafah. The Egyptian authorities have refused to coordinate with the Israelis, preferring to work with international or Palestinian bodies.

After talks with US President Joe Biden last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi agreed to temporarily divert UN aid to the Kerem Abu Salem crossing, near Rafah but on Gaza's border with Israel.

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