CAIRO, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Egypt, Israel and the United States agreed to a cease-fire in southern Gaza at 0600 GMT, along with the reopening of the Rafah border crossing, two Egyptian security sources said on Monday. Expulsion of foreigners.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the deal.
“There is currently no ceasefire and no humanitarian aid in Gaza in exchange for the expulsion of foreigners,” a statement from his office said.
Israel, shaken by attacks by the Islamist group Hamas on towns and villages, is preparing for a ground invasion by launching the most intense bombardment Gaza has ever seen, imposing a heavy blockade.
Rafah, which straddles the border between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Hamas-ruled Gaza, is the only border crossing outside Israeli control.
Egyptian sources said the ceasefire would last for several hours, but they were unclear on the exact duration. The three countries also agreed that Rafah would remain open until 1400 GMT on Monday as a one-day early reopening, they said.
A security source and an NGO source in al-Arish said aid trucks were still waiting there after the reopening at 0600 GMT. Reuters pictures showed trucks waiting for permission to make the trip to Rafah, which could take hours.
Egypt says the crossing has remained open from the Egyptian side in recent days, but that it has been disabled by Israeli bombardment of Palestine.
The agreement would allow limited exit of foreign passport holders from Gaza.
Aid from several countries and organizations has stalled in al-Arish, pending an agreement on the delivery of aid and the evacuation of foreigners, which US Secretary of State Blinken said was reached after a visit to Cairo.
On Monday, he told X, “The United States is working hard to make sure the people of Gaza are out of harm’s way and getting the help they need — food, water, medicine –.”
Asked for confirmation, the Israeli military had no immediate comment.
Salama Maruf, head of the Hamas government media office, said they had received no confirmation from the Egyptian side about the intentions to open the crossing.
The U.S. embassy in Israel said the situation in Rafah remains “fluid and unpredictable, and it is unclear whether or for how long travelers will be allowed to travel through the crossing.”
It said citizens who felt safe enough to do so could proceed to the crossing.
Egypt’s Ministry of Health said in a statement that it was raising the level of preparedness in hospitals in several governorates to deal with the medical consequences of the situation in Gaza.
Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan in Cairo, Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia; Additional reporting by Aidan Lewis and Nadine Awadallah; By Tala Ramadan and Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Toby Chopra
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