Middle East

Palestinians slam Israeli minister over Sinai homeland

Israeli Social Equality Minister called for a Palestinian state to be established in Sinai

Palestinians slam Israeli minister over Sinai homeland

By Nour Abu Aisha 

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Palestinian factions on Tuesday decried recent statements by an Israeli minister, who called for establishing an alternative homeland for the Palestinians in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. 

Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel has earlier called for a Palestinian state to be established in Sinai. 

“The Palestinian state will only be established on the land of Palestine,” Hamas spokesman said in a statement. 

“We express our total solidarity with Egypt against any attempts or projects aimed at undermining the Egyptian sovereignty in Sinai or any other Egyptian territory,” he said. 
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah group denounced the minister’s remarks as “rude and racist”.  

“We consider these remarks a direct assault on the Palestinian and Egyptian people,” Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasm said in a statement. 

Islamic Jihad group described the minister’s statements as “hostile”. 

“The Palestinian people will not accept any alternative homeland other than their territory,” the group said in a statement. 

Gamliel’s statements have invited angry Egyptian reaction with Foreign Ministry Sameh Shoukry saying that Egypt will never cede its Sinai Peninsula. 

On Monday, Gamliel attended a regional conference in Cairo, where she praised Egyptian-Israeli relations, according the Arabic page of Israel on Facebook, which is run by the Israeli Interior Ministry. 

The Israeli minister's remarks came days after a deadly militant attack on a mosque in northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, which killed 305 people and injured scores. 

U.S.-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli peace talks to end the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands collapsed in 2014 over Israel's refusal to halt settlement building and release a number of Palestinian prisoners. 

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