Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-SisiJacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi spoke on Friday to US President Joe Biden and agreed to release humanitarian aid to Gaza via Israel.

In a statement after the conversation, the White House said that the two leaders discussed “ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages and to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

“President Biden welcomed the commitment from President Al-Sisi to permit the flow of UN-provided humanitarian assistance from Egypt through the Kerem Shalom crossing on a provisional basis for onward distribution throughout Gaza. This will help save lives,” the statement added.

“President Biden also expressed his full commitment to support efforts to reopen the Rafah crossing with arrangements acceptable to both Egypt and Israel and agreed to send a senior team to Cairo next week for further discussions,” said the White House.

It also added that “Biden thanked President Al-Sisi once again for his efforts from the beginning of the crisis to ensure the continuous flow of assistance from Egypt into Gaza. The two leaders also consulted on new initiatives to secure the release of hostages together with an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza.”

“President Biden and President Al-Sisi affirmed their commitment to work together to set the conditions for a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East region. They agreed to remain in regular contact both directly and through their senior national security teams,” the statement concluded.

Sisi’s decision marks a victory for Biden, as some of the food supplies waiting to enter the Gaza Strip from Egypt have begun to rot in recent days as the Rafah border crossing remains shut to aid deliveries for a third week.

Egypt has refused to re-open Rafah until Israeli troops withdraw from the Gazan side of the crossing, but until Friday had also refused to allow the aid to enter through Kerem Shalom, claiming that such a move would be collaboration with the IDF attack in Rafah.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)