World, Middle East

Egypt denies plan to resettle Palestinians in Sinai

Denial follows allegation that US president, Israeli PM had discussed possibility based on Egyptian proposal

Egypt denies plan to resettle Palestinians in Sinai A man watches the evacuation of Jewish settlement of Amona north east of Ramallah, West Bank on February 1, 2017. Israeli government assigned 3000 police officers for evacuation of Jewish settlement of Amona which was built over Palestinians' private estate after Israeli authority's illegal expropriation. (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)


By Mohamed Mahmoud


Egypt’s Foreign Ministry on Friday denied recent speculation that a plan had been hatched to resettle Palestinians in the Sinai Peninsula with a view to establishing a Palestinian state in Sinai and Gaza.

"Sinai is Egyptian territory," ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in televised comments.

The notion of resettling Palestinians on the peninsula, he added, "has not at any stage been the subject of discussion between Egyptian and foreign officials".

Abu Zeid’s assertion follows recent statements by Ayoob Kara, a Druze-Israeli politician, in which he said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump had discussed a plan -- allegedly proposed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi -- to establish a Palestinian state in Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

"Egypt’s stance on the Palestinian [national] cause is clear: Egypt supports a two-state solution [to the Israel-Palestine dispute]," the spokesman said.

He went on to stress that Palestinian aspirations for a state of their own could only be achieved through direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

At a Wednesday joint press conference with Netanyahu at the White House, Trump appeared to throw cold water on the notion of a two-state solution.

While the U.S. president did not reject a two-state solution outright, he broke with Washington’s longstanding support for the idea by saying he could "live with" either a one- or two-state solution to the conflict.

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