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Last updated: 15 May, 2024  

Egypt.9.Thmb.jpg Egypt may curb relations with Israel over Gaza war

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IANS | 15 May, 2024
Egypt may downgrade its diplomatic ties with neighbouring Israel in response to Tel Aviv's extensive military action in the Gaza Strip, US media reported on Tuesday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, unnamed Egyptian government officials indicated that one consequence of the Gaza operations could be the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador from Israel.

However, there are currently no plans to break off relations completely, the report added. There was initially no official comment from Cairo.

Now in its eighth month, the Gaza war is putting the relationship between the two countries to the test.

The government in Cairo is concerned that a large number of Palestinians could cross the border into Egypt if the Israeli offensive in Rafah in the southern part of Gaza is extended.

Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel in 1979. The country also supports Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

In a sign of growing frustration over Israel's war in Gaza, Egypt said on Sunday that it would join the genocide lawsuit brought against Israel by South Africa.

In December, South Africa took Israel to the International Court of Justice for genocide allegedly committed during the war. In an interim ruling, the UN court ordered Israel to take protective measures to prevent genocide.

Israel rejects the charges, saying that it is invoking its right to self-defence following the massacres carried out by the Islamist Hamas and allied groups in Israel on October 7.

As Israel and Hamas do not negotiate directly with each other, Egypt is acting as a mediator in the Gaza war alongside the US and Qatar.

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