Egypt again denies any plan to resettle Palestinians in Sinai

By AT editor - 24 February 2017 at 5:40 am
Egypt again denies any plan to resettle Palestinians in Sinai

Egyptian officials have again denied any plan to cede part of the Sinai Peninsula to resettle Palestinians there, reaffirming their commitment to a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians in the troubled Middle East.

Alaa Youssef, a spokesman for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said in a statement Thursday that the idea of resettling Palestinians in the Sinai has never been a part of discussions between Egypt and any other international diplomats.

“It is unthinkable to believe that such an unrealistic and unacceptable notion was discussed,” Youssef said in a statement. Both Egypt and Jordan reiterated their support for a two-state solution earlier this week, issuing a joint statement that warned that failure to do so would be dangerous for the region.

The possibility of resettlement in the Sinai has made headlines, however, after an Israeli official said that in 2015, al-Sisi proposed the idea of creating the Palestinian state in Gaza and the Sinai rather than in the West Bank territory – and that the idea would be discussed by United States President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

For his part, Netanyahu has denied the claims as well.

Last week, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Netanyahu, al-Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in 2016 to review a regional peace plan but Netanyahu rejected it on the grounds that he would not have the political support for it at home.

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