Egypt’s foreign minister calls out ‘world’s double standards’ over Israel offensive in Gaza

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The Egyptian foreign minister said “the world is witnessing the most heinous crimes” against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, adding that the war there has exposed double standards in the approach to crises around the world.

Sameh Shoukry made the remarks at the session of Human Rights Council in Geneva, stressing the need for a cease-fire and calling on Israel to refrain from carrying out military action in the city of Rafah.

Palestinians are clinging to life in the southern Gaza town of Rafah amid the grinding war with Israel.

In the wake of Hamas’ attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, Israel’s air, sea and ground campaign in Gaza has killed tens of thousands of people, obliterated large swaths of the urban landscape, displaced 80% of the battered enclave’s population and sparked concerns that a famine could be imminent, according to the United Nations.

“The weapons of starvation, siege and forced displacement” are being used against the Palestinians, Shoukry said.

He called for the need to enable humanitarian organisations to carry out their work in the Gaza Strip and to allow aid to all parts of the Palestinian enclave.

The war was triggered in October when Hamas militants killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted roughly 250 people, according to Israeli authorities.

Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed more than 29,700 people, most of them women and children, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza. It does not distinguish between fighters and civilians in its count.

“The recent Gaza crisis has exposed the dilemma of double standards in dealing with international crises and gross violations of human rights,” Shoukry said.

“It seems that life in Gaza does not live up to the interest (of some countries), and that the lives of children who were killed in the tens of thousands do not move their sensitive feelings, as they are of less value than others,” he added.

U.S. President Joe Biden signaled that a cease-fire in Gaza could be at hand, saying that Israel has agreed to pause its offensive during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan if a deal is reached to release some hostages held by Hamas.

But both Israel and Hamas downplayed on Tuesday the idea that a breakthrough was imminent.

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