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Sunday, 7 August 2022

Egypt tries to mediate Gaza ceasefire as Israel, PIJ exchange fire

Egypt is looking to broker a ceasefire between Israel and fighters in Gaza after the two sides exchanged fire over the weekend in what was the most serious-flare up of violence since an 11-day conflict last year between Israel and Hamas, the Associated Press reported

What started things? The fighting began on Friday after Israel assassinated Tayseer Jabari, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad boss, launching a series of airstrikes that Israel claimed were in response to an “immediate threat.” PIJ replied on Friday and Saturday, firing barrages of rickets into Israeli territory. Hamas is yet to join the fighting.

At least 24 Palestinians have been killed, including six children, while more than 200 have been injured in the Israeli airstrikes. No Israeli casualties have been reported.

The peace drive: An Egyptian intelligence delegation led by Maj. Gen. Ahmed Abdelkhaliq, the intelligence officer in charge of Cairo's Palestinian portfolio, headed to Israel yesterday, Reuters reports. The delegation was hoping to secure a ceasefire as soon as today. Hezbollah-affiliated media claims the Palestinian side has so far rejected calls for a ceasefire.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said Egypt is engaged in a “big” push to restore stability, adding Cairo is in touch with both sides “around the clock” (watch, runtime: 1:11). The Foreign Ministry also said Egypt is engaged in “intensive talks.”

REMEMBER- Cairo was a key mediator in the 2021 war, brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to end the devastating Israeli military offensive against the strip.

Is Egypt going to reenter GERD negotiations? Egypt is pursuing a diplomatic approach to resolve the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) “with patience and a calm head,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said in a speech yesterday (watch, runtime: 2:57). The president’s statement came a few days after the UAE weighed in on the crisis and called for Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to return to the African Union-led negotiations that have been stalled since last year.

El Sisi didn’t explicitly commit to rejoin AU-led talks or provide details on who the government is negotiating with. For the past year Egypt has refused to rejoin the AU process and called for new mediators to be brought into the process, an idea that has been largely rejected by world powers.

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