Sisi: Egypt will open border, send aid once ceasefire reached
In a speech marking the anniversary of the 23 July 1952 revolution which deposed Egypt's monarchy, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, saying that Egypt's borders with the battered enclave can be opened and that aid can be sent once a truce is in place.
All parties should negotiate the terms of the ceasefire, he added.
El-Sisi said he did not wish to discuss the details of the truce proposal – proposed by Egypt last week – so as not to affect the negotiating process.
A senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday that talks were ongoing with Gaza rulers Hamas to put an end to the ongoing hostilities with Israel, adding that both sides had refused a humanitarian ceasefire.
Hamas said it would not accept an Egyptian proposal that called for a ceasefire followed by indirect talks and instead insisted on firm commitments to end Israel's eight-year blockade of Gaza.
The offensive on Gaza has killed 649 Palestinians so far, many of them children and civilians, including a seven-year-old hit by a shell early on Wednesday in southern Gaza, a medic said.
El-Sisi asserted that Egypt has always stood with Palestine and would continue to do so.
"We will be standing next to our Palestinian martyrs as we have always done," El-Sisi said.
The bulk of El-Sisi's speech, however, focused on the 23 July 1952 revolution, which he said was led by great men, in very hard conditions, and obliged the demands of the people.