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Israeli officials warned that Cairo “may stop exercising the role of mediator” in the talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire deal and the release of hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, considering that relations between Egypt and Israel “have reached their worst stage” since the start of the war.

Officials told the newspaper:HaaretzThe Israeli newspaper, which did not name them, expressed their fears that the crisis between Egypt and Israel “may worsen” in light of the continuing fighting in Gaza, specifically in the border city of Rafah in the far south of the Strip, at a time when Cairo decided to stop bringing in aid through the Rafah crossing after it took control. The Israeli army is on the Palestinian side.

Egypt and Israel are exchanging accusations regarding obstructing the arrival of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli side believes that Egypt has stopped the entry of aid to increase international pressure on Israel, according to Haaretz. Meanwhile, in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Cairo rejected “the policy of denying the facts and disavowing responsibility followed by the Israeli side.”

Speaking to Haaretz, the officials warned that the situation “may get worse and Egypt may withdraw from mediation” regarding attempts to reach a ceasefire and release the hostages, in addition to “the possibility that defense and intelligence cooperation between the two countries may be negatively affected,” if the crisis is not resolved.

One of the officials told the Israeli newspaper: “The situation with Egypt is currently the worst since the start of the war.”

While another said: “The Egyptians showed understanding of our position at the beginning of the war, and they realized the importance of dismantling Hamas’ military capabilities and its ability to rule (in Gaza) after October 7.”

The latter added that Egypt’s position “shifted” with the Israeli army beginning its operations in Rafah, explaining that they (the Egyptians) “are trying to obstruct us and impose an end to the war. This is something that has never happened before, even during our previous operations in Gaza.”

The newspaper pointed out that the widespread and widespread filming of scenes raising the Israeli flag on the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing “made it politically difficult for Egypt to continue managing the crossing, without being accused of cooperating with Israel in its military operation.”

One Israeli official said: “We understand that this causes them a problem with public opinion. But their reaction caused the transfer of humanitarian aid to be stopped almost completely, and this is an exaggerated reaction.”

The Israeli Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, wrote on the “X” platform, “The world holds Israel responsible for the humanitarian file, but the key to preventing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is now in the hands of our Egyptian friends.”

He pointed out that he spoke with the British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, and the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, about “the necessity of convincing Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing, allowing the continued transfer of international humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.”

For its part, Cairo denounced Katz’s statements, and a Foreign Ministry statement affirmed “Egypt’s categorical rejection of the policy of telling the facts and disavowing responsibility followed by the Israeli side.” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that “Israel is solely responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe that the Palestinians are currently facing in the Gaza Strip.”

Shukri considered the Israeli control over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, and the Israeli military operations in the vicinity of the crossing, “and the resulting lives of relief workers and truck drivers to imminent dangers, as the main reason for the inability to bring aid in from the crossing.”

Shukry strongly denounced “the desperate attempts of the Israeli side to hold Egypt responsible for the unprecedented humanitarian crisis facing the Gaza Strip, which is a direct result of indiscriminate Israeli attacks against the Palestinians for more than seven months, in which more than 35,000 citizens were killed, most of them women and children.”

On Sunday, Egypt announced it was joining South Africa in the lawsuit it filed before the International Court of Justice against Israel on charges of committing the crime of “genocide.”

During a phone call on Monday with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Shukri warned of “the dire humanitarian consequences that will affect more than 1.4 million Palestinians as a result of the closure of the Rafah crossing and the continuation of large-scale Israeli attacks.”

The war broke out following the unprecedented attack by Hamas (classified as a terrorist organization in the United States) on areas and sites adjacent to the Gaza Strip on October 7, which resulted in the killing of 1,200 people, most of them civilians, including women and children, according to the Israeli authorities.

In response to the attack, Israel vowed to “eliminate the movement,” and has since carried out a bombing campaign followed by ground operations since October 27, resulting in the deaths of more than 35,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, according to what the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip announced.

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