Egypt: Gazans should be given sanctuary in southern Israel

Egyptian president rejects calls for Gazans to be resettled in the Sinai, warning such a move would lead to war with Israel.

By The Associated Press

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi says his country rejects what he calls efforts to resettle Palestinian Arabs from the Gaza Strip in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, warning that such an effort would jeopardize his country’s peace deal with Israel.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Cairo with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, el-Sissi said Wednesday that his government views Israel’s siege on Gaza, including cutting off water, food and fuel and preventing humanitarian aid from flowing into the territory as a scheme to expel Gazans to Egypt.

“We are rejecting the liquidation of the Palestinian cause and the explosion of Palestinians to Sinai,” the Egyptian leader said, adding that Sinai would be turned into a launching ground for “terrorist attacks” against Israel, which would in turn blame Egypt for such attacks.

He said Egyptians reject such efforts and proposed that Israel move the Palestinians to Negev in Israel until it ends “its announced mission” of destroying Gaza terrorist groups, chief among them Hamas.

Israel announced Wednesday evening that it will allow some humanitarian aid into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip via Egypt, despite the fact that over 200 Israelis remain in captivity in the Strip.

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Jerusalem already resumed water transfers to the southern Gaza Strip, after initially declaring that no more water would be sold to Gaza as long as Israelis were held hostage.

The Israeli government’s decision to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip came following pressure from President Joe Biden, who arrived in Israel Wednesday morning.

Biden said Wednesday evening that he had spoken with the Israeli cabinet “to agree to the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance of civilians in Gaza.”

“Let me be clear,” Biden said. If Hamas diverts or steals the assistance, they will have demonstrated once again that they have no concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people.”