World, Middle East

Sinai Peninsula ‘will remain part of Egypt’: Al-Sisi

Egyptian president makes assertion amid rumors of plan to resettle Palestinians in desert region

01.03.2017
Sinai Peninsula ‘will remain part of Egypt’: Al-Sisi

Egypt

CAIRO 

Sinai will remain Egyptian territory, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi declared this week amid rumors of plans to resettle Palestinians in the desert peninsula. 

“People have sacrificed their lives to ensure that Sinai remains a part of Egypt,” al-Sisi said in comments broadcast on state television late Tuesday. 

Ayoub Kara, an Israeli-Druze politician, said recently that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump had discussed a plan -- reportedly proposed by al-Sisi -- to establish a Palestinian state in Sinai and the Gaza Strip. 

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, however, has vehemently dismissed the claim. 

The northern Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a deadly insurgency since Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, was ousted in a 2013 military coup. 

In Tuesday’s comments, Al-Sisi also said he had rejected a broad counter-terrorism plan involving the evacuation of residents from Al-Arish city, the regional capital of northern Sinai. 

In recent days, scores of Coptic Christians have fled the peninsula following a spate of killings by suspected militants. 

“The recent targeting of Al-Arish residents is aimed at undermining [Egypt’s] national unity by a group that seeks to spread fear and terror,” he said. 

Al-Sisi added: “What’s now going on in Al-Arish reveals the plot being hatched against the Egyptian state.”

*Reporting by Mohamed Mahmoud; Writing by Mahmoud Barakat


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