Egypt is currently making utmost efforts with partners in a bid to resume the Israel-Hamas truce in the Gaza Strip and extend it further until reaching a comprehensive ceasefire, said the chairman of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) on Thursday.
“Until this happens, Egypt will continue its cooperation with partners to work to accelerate the transfer of humanitarian and relief aid to the Gaza Strip,” SIS chief Diaa Rashwan said in a statement.
Israel and the Gaza-ruling Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) reached a 7-day ceasefire brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the United States from Nov. 24 to 30, after which Israel resumed its deadly siege and bombardment of the Palestinian enclave.
The week-long truce included a swap between Palestinian prisoners in Israel and Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
“The truce succeeded in releasing 240 Palestinian women and children jailed in Israeli prisons, in exchange for the release of 81 Israelis and 22 people of other nationalities detained in the Gaza Strip,” Rashwan pointed out.
The truce also succeeded in expanding and regularizing the entry of humanitarian and relief aid and fuel to the besieged Gazans, according to the Egyptian official.
The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been the only lifeline to provide the enclave with relief supplies donated by Egypt and other countries as well as local and international organizations.
Gaza has been under massive Israeli siege and bombardment since Oct. 7, which has killed so far about 17,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. The Israeli escalation came in retaliation for an attack by Hamas that killed about 1,200 in Israel and took away more than 200 as hostages, according to Israeli reports.