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Palestinians must determine Gaza's future: Egyptian FM

Palestinians must determine future of Gaza but talks premature: Egypt FM
2 min read
07 December, 2023
Egypt's foreign minister has said Cairo would look like to see the Gaza Strip governed by the Palestinian Authority, but that such discussions were too soon amid Israel's ongoing offensive.
Shoukry said governance of Gaza is up to the Palestinian people [Getty]

Egypt wants to see the Palestinian Authority govern Gaza, but it is too early to discuss details of arrangements for the future of the strip, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in Washington on Thursday ahead of a Friday meeting between Arab states' top diplomats and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Washington has been pushing for Israel's Arab neighbors to engage in talks on how Gaza will be administered if Israel succeeds in its aim of eliminating Hamas, which has run the enclave since 2005.

Israel launched an unprecedented aerial and ground assault on Gaza on October 7, killing so far more than 17,000 people, most of them civilians. Around 80% of Gaza's residents have been forcefully displaced.

An attack on southern Israel by Hamas on October 7 left around 1,200 Israelis killed, and more than 200 others taken hostage.

Shoukry, reiterating Arab leaders' calls for an immediate ceasefire, said governance of Gaza is up to the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization are the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people and "should be accorded the ability to govern both the [occupied] West Bank and Gaza," Shoukry said during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

It was premature to discuss details of Gaza's future governance since the outcome of Israel's military campaign was uncertain, he said.

"I think we have to wait and see what is the consequences of this military operation and the conditions that exist in Gaza and then proceed to address the political relationships," Shoukry added.

Shoukry said the appropriate response from the international community would be to first call for a cessation of hostilities and then seek a political resolution of the conflict, an indirect criticism of Washington's rejection of calls for a ceasefire.

"I would like to have seen a ceasefire yesterday, actually 60 days ago," Shoukry said.

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