Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has ruled out hosting Palestinian refugees from Israel’s war on Gaza in the Sinai peninsula.
El-Sisi disclosed this stance at a press conference in Cairo alongside visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
“The whole concept of transferring Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip to Sinai is simply transferring the concept of fighting and resistance from Gaza to Sinai and in this fashion, Sinai will be a base for military operations against Israel,” Sisi said.
He noted that in that instance, Israel will try to defend itself and in a similar fashion, direct its military towards Egypt and Sinai.”
“Then, we will bear the responsibility for that in Egypt”, the President added.
“The peace we [Egyptians] have worked for would slip from our hands, as would a resolution to the Palestinian issue.
“We are a sovereign state that, in the years since the signing of the peace agreement with Israel, has taken care to maintain this path. We are supportive of other countries joining it as well.”Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
“We should join hands to embark on the big investments we pumped into the peace process,” he averred.
“We should come [up] with a viable solution,” he added.
Also, the Egyptian President suggested that Israel can move Palestinians affected by the war to the Negev desert instead of requesting Egypt to host them.
“There is the Negev desert in Israel,” el-Sisi stated.
“The Palestinians can be moved to Negev desert until they [Israel] do what they wish to do with the military operatives in the Gaza Strip before returning [the Palestinians] back,” he said.
“If the Palestinians are transferred to Egypt, the military operation initiated by Israel may last for years and years to come. In this case, Egypt will continue to bear the consequences and Sinai will be a base for operations against Israel and in this case, Egypt will be labelled as a base for terrorists.”Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
The Egyptian President declared, “The acts by Israel cutting power, water, electricity is a means to forcibly transfer Palestinians to the Sinai Peninsula, which we totally reject.”
UN Secretary-General Calls For Immediate Ceasefire
Earlier on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the Israel-Gaza war.
The humanitarian ceasefire was needed for both of these appeals to be met, Guterres added.
Guterres noted,” Too many lives – and the fate of the entire region – hang in the balance.”
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council will vote on a Brazilian-drafted resolution that calls for humanitarian pauses in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian fighters Hamas to allow humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip.
The 15-member council had initially been due to vote on Monday on the Brazilian draft, but it was postponed 24 hours to allow more time to negotiate. The US then pushed for a further delay as President Joe Biden visits Israel on Wednesday.
The UN chief earlier today called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas in the aftermath of the hospital bombing, but the German government says it is up to Israel to assess how long its military operation in Gaza will last.
“We are in a situation in which a terrorist organisation has not only attacked but continues to attack Israel,” a government spokesperson told a regular press briefing in response to a question about UN calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.
“It is for now an issue for the state of Israel to assess when this terrorist threat so to speak is no longer so great that Israel can end its defence position,” the spokesperson said.