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Egypt Prepares for Refugee Crisis From Rafah, but Denies Creation of a Safe Zone

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned in Munich yesterday that any military operation in Rafah would pose a direct threat to Egypt’s national security, adding that there is no need to escalate the situation further. “We do not need further escalation in the region,” Shoukry said, reported al Ahram, pointing out that any military operation in Rafah would have serious repercussions. He emphasized the necessity of avoiding dire consequences for civilians in Gaza and striving to halt military escalation.

Shoukry also reasserted Egypt’s consistent position since the start of the war on Gaza that any displacement of Palestinians, whether internally or externally, is a violation of international humanitarian law. “We are preparing for all scenarios, but this is not an encouragement for displacement, nor are we preparing a safe zone for Palestinians in Egypt,” he said, refuting media reports that Egypt has been building camps to accommodate Palestinians in case they are displaced following an Israeli military operation in Rafah.

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