Egypt mediates to stop escalation between Israel and Palestinian resistance

Mohammed Ayesh

Middle East Eye  /  February 25, 2023

Egypt has been holding “intensive talks” with Palestinian factions in recent days to prevent an escalation after Israel’s killing of 11 Palestinians on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank, according to a report by Al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper.

“The Egyptian mediator tried to persuade the Palestinian factions, especially from Gaza, not to escalate in response to the raid on Nablus. It also tried to convince them that the continued firing of rockets could push Israel to launch a military operation in the Strip,” the report said, citing informed sources.

“The leaders of the resistance informed the Egyptians that the ‘unity of regions’ principle cannot be waived and the operation of launching rockets will continue and may develop into other qualitative operations,” the newspaper added.

Palestinian resistance factions early on Thursday launched missiles towards the Israeli settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Israeli air forces responded by bombing sites within the besieged enclave.

The sources said Egypt has renewed its request to the US to put pressure on Israel to stop the escalation of violence from its side. Cairo also repeated its appeal to the Islamic Jihad movement not to escalate. The Egyptians are deeply concerned about the possibility of an armed confrontation this year. 

The sources emphasized that “Egypt well understands that if the situation deteriorates in the West Bank, it will ignite Gaza as well”.

They added that some leaders of Palestinian factions may be due to visit Cairo after an invitation by officials in the General Intelligence Service, which oversees mediation efforts.

Mohammad Ayesh is an Arab journalist currently based in London