An Egyptian parliamentary delegation has arrived in the Gaza Strip to hold talks with the Palestinian movement Hamas on the ongoing fuel crisis in the coastal sliver.
The delegation, which consists of 28 Egyptian lawmakers, entered the enclave from the southern Rafah crossing on Wednesday.
"We came here to show the historic linkage between Egypt and Palestine. Egypt’s stance towards the Palestinians is stable and Egypt will never be a friend to the Zionist entity (Israel)," said Mohammed Idris, the head of the Arab Affairs Committee in the Egyptian parliament.
He added that Israel "is the strategic enemy of Egypt” and called on Egypt and some other Arab nations “to completely sever ties with it."
Ahmed Bahar, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, said that the visit is “historic and carries many political implications to defy the Israeli siege."
"This visit is made as the Gaza Strip is going through a severe crisis of fuel and energy shortage, where slow death is threatening the life of patients and children, some of whom died this week due to the crisis," he said.
Fuel shortage has been besetting the blockaded coastal sliver since mid-February, when Egypt blocked the flow of diesel through the tunnels lying beneath its border with Gaza, which are used to transfer supplies into the impoverished enclave amid a crippling siege imposed on the territory by Israel.
The stoppage forced Gaza’s sole electricity power plant out of work, causing the enclave to start experiencing blackouts of up to 18 hours a day.
Last week, Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim announced that the fuel shortage was placing lives in jeopardy.
Recently, an infant and a four-year-old girl died due to power outage.
Gaza has been blockaded by Tel Aviv since 2007, which has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The full-scale land, aerial, and naval siege has turned the enclave into the world’s largest open-air prison.