Middle East

‘We reject displacing Gazans to Sinai, liquidation of Palestinian issue:’ Egyptian president

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi proposed temporarily relocating Palestinians to Israel's Negev

Ibrahim Khazin  | 18.10.2023 - Update : 18.10.2023
‘We reject displacing Gazans to Sinai, liquidation of Palestinian issue:’ Egyptian president


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday again rejected the displacement of Gazans to the Sinai Peninsula due to the ongoing Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, emphasizing the importance of not compromising on the Palestinian cause.

“I have also emphasized Egypt’s rejection of the liquidation of the Palestinian issue through military instruments, or any attempts to forcibly displace the Palestinians from their land, or for this to happen at the expense of countries in the region,” al-Sisi said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Cairo.

About the situation in Gaza, al-Sisi said that what is happening in Gaza right now “is not just a matter of taking military action against Hamas but an attempt to push civilian residents to seek refuge and migrate to Egypt."

He warned of the dangers of “forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt,” saying it would set a precedent for the “displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan.

"Moving Palestinians from Gaza to Sinai is simply transferring the idea of resistance and fighting from the Gaza Strip to Sinai," he said, adding that this step could lead to "Sinai becoming a base for launching operations against Israel."

"In this case, Israel will respond and strike at Egyptian territory, and Egypt is a big country that has sincerely been keen on peace and we need not to squander it (peace), with an idea that cannot be implemented," al-Sisi said.

He said that Egypt is a sovereign nation, adding that since the peace treaty with Israel in 1979, “we have consistently upheld the strategic choice of peaceful resolution, inviting other nations to join us in this endeavor."

“The horizon for the existence of a Palestinian state has been blocked in the past three decades, despite the initiatives that have been presented,” the Egyptian president said.

He also pointed to the failure of the initiative "to establish a demilitarized Palestinian state with the presence of international or Arab forces, ensuring the security and stability of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples."

Al-Sisi proposed temporarily relocating Palestinians to the Negev Desert in Israel.

"If there is indeed a notion of relocating Palestinians, then the Negev Desert in Israel could serve as a potential destination, allowing Israel to complete its stated mission of neutralizing resistance or armed groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad," he said.

He said that Egypt will “continue to receive humanitarian assistance and is committed to delivering it to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah land crossing when conditions allow this, taking into consideration the fact that Egypt did not close the Rafah crossing since the outbreak of the crisis.”

“However, the developments on the ground and the repeated Israeli strikes on the Palestinian side of the crossing obstructed its operation,” he added.

*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala

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