Mon 22 Apr 2024 10:25 am - Jerusalem Time

Egypt: Four diplomatic alternatives in dealing with the repercussions of the Rafah invasion

At a time when Israeli threats continue regarding the implementation of an expected military operation in the city of Rafah, Egyptian diplomats, parliamentarians and military personnel spoke of alternatives before Cairo if any operation was carried out in Rafah. Amid repeated Egyptian warnings of the danger of the invasion. There are international fears of more civilian casualties.

Rafah hosts about one and a half million displaced people from other areas in the Gaza Strip who fled due to the war that has been going on for more than six months. According to Israeli media, the Israeli army presented the US army with a plan to activate a humanitarian corridor in Gaza in preparation for the possible ground operation in Rafah, during a coordination meeting between the two sides, held on Thursday. Israeli media reported assurances from officials in Tel Aviv that the Rafah operation has been decided, and the timing of implementation remains, with the opening of a humanitarian corridor for the residents of the Strip.

The head of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs and former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ambassador Mohamed Al-Orabi, said that Israel has a strong intention to carry out a military operation in Rafah, suggesting that it will be soon. Al-Orabi confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that this operation “may not be in the form of a comprehensive invasion, but in the form of selective operations,” noting that “there is pressure on Israel from all countries of the world, including the United States of America, regarding the expected Rafah operation, to avoid losses.” new among civilian ranks.

And about the Egyptian alternatives in the event of the invasion of Rafah. Al-Orabi said, “Egypt’s options will be diplomatic to put pressure on Israel.” He pointed out that there are four levels of action, starting with “communications at the bilateral level, as there have been permanent contacts between Egypt and Israel since the war in Gaza.” The second level includes Egypt exerting more pressure on Israel through diplomatic mobilization at the regional level. The third is to mobilize international positions against the military operation, followed by diplomatic escalation by moving to the Security Council, making it clear that all Egyptian moves are diplomatic in order to curb the brutal Israeli power.

The head of the Human Rights Committee in the Egyptian House of Representatives (Parliament), Representative Tariq Radwan, did not stray far from what Al-Orabi said, stressing that the Israeli announcement of an operation in Rafah has its goals, but the Egyptian move will be through mobilization at the regional and international levels to put pressure on the Israeli side, because This process will further ignite the situation in the region and increase the state of tension. Radwan added, "In light of the Security Council and United Nations resolutions demanding the cessation of military operations in Gaza, there will be international reactions in the event that Israel goes too far in its military goals by committing new crimes against civilians in Gaza."

Egypt rejects all forms of displacement of Palestinians inside or outside Gaza. Since the beginning of the war on the Gaza Strip, it has been considered that the plan to displace the Palestinians is a red line that will result in the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. Egypt's permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Osama Abdel Haq, said in his speech before the Security Council, last Thursday evening, that Cairo stresses its rejection of any Israeli military operation in Palestinian Rafah, and also rejects Israel's efforts to ignite a regional escalation in the Middle East and open new war fronts.

In this context, the Egyptian military expert, Major General Muhammad Qashqoush, said that carrying out a military operation in the Palestinian Rafah is tantamount to life or death for the Israeli side, and if Israel does not implement this operation, it will be as if it did not achieve anything in this war, and it will be a military and political defeat for it because it did not achieve it. Its stated goals from the beginning are to eliminate the Hamas movement and liberate the hostages.

Regarding the Egyptian alternatives in the event of the invasion of Rafah, Qashqoush confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Egyptian options come within the diplomatic framework of international mobilization against this operation, especially with the American administration, which has very important weight and influence on the Israeli decision, and therefore Egypt seeks first to prevent the implementation of the operation, and if It sought to define red lines during the operation in order to protect civilians.

The Egyptian military expert pointed out that Egypt does not want the fighting to continue and losses to continue in Gaza. He explained that the strategic diplomatic solution that Egypt seeks is to end this war at this point, solve the problem of the Israeli hostages, and develop a comprehensive solution to the conflict by declaring a two-state solution, pointing out that there are many fears about implementing the Rafah process, which will be difficult for both parties, including The Israeli side,” because the invasion may lead to the killing of Israeli hostages, and there is great difficulty in avoiding civilian casualties. This is one of the American conditions for carrying out a military operation in Rafah, and therefore Israel will have to implement a surgical operation to reduce civilian casualties.

Egypt, along with the United States and Qatar, plays the role of mediator in indirect negotiations aimed at agreeing on a truce in the Gaza Strip, during which prisoners will be exchanged between Israel and Hamas. Egypt always calls for the necessity of a ceasefire in Gaza, full access to humanitarian aid, and a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue through a two-state solution and the declaration of an independent State of Palestine.
Returning to Qashqoush, who confirmed that the Egyptian position has been clear since the beginning of the war in Gaza, as Egypt rejects the forced displacement of Palestinians, and refuses to let its lands be an alternative to the Palestinians, and considers this one of the fixed red lines, and at the same time it plays a major role on the relief and humanitarian level, as it provided About 70 percent of aid has been sent to the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the aggression until now.


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Egypt: Four diplomatic alternatives in dealing with the repercussions of the Rafah invasion