The Sinai plan that angered Sisi… Will Israel send the people of Gaza to Egypt?

While intense Israeli bombing and ground operations on the Gaza Strip continue, Israel’s long-term plans for the area where approximately 2.3 million Palestinians live are being discussed. What is most talked about in this context is the “Sinai Plan,” which was first proposed in the first decade of the twenty-first century and was removed from the shelf with the recent crisis. Although Israel rejected through official channels the plan that stipulates the migration of Palestinians in Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, there are reports that the possibilities of this option have been discussed in recent meetings with officials from the United States, the European Union, and the Egyptians. It is noteworthy that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Egyptian officials strongly oppose this plan.

*When did it appear?

The plan, first proposed by Giora Eliand, then head of the Israeli National Security Council, in 2004, to solve the “Gaza problem,” as he put it, was to reduce the area of ​​Gaza by exchanging 600 plots of land. One square kilometer between Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian West Bank areas. This offer, which neither party received at the time, came back to the fore again with the war that began after the Hamas attacks on October 7. However, there is no mention of a possible land change in the current news.

*Why is it on the agenda now?

The passage of Palestinians into Egypt through the Rafah border gate within the framework of establishing a “humanitarian evacuation corridor” was discussed between American and Israeli officials, who contacted shortly after the start of the war, and US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan confirmed this information. . Calls by Israeli army spokesmen for the Palestinians to go to the Sinai Peninsula raised questions about whether Israel would put the Sinai plan on the agenda again, but the Tel Aviv administration denied this news from official sources. In addition, there were reports in the Israeli media that the Tel Aviv administration had made an offer that included Egypt accepting the Palestinians in exchange for canceling its foreign debt amounting to about 165 billion dollars.

* What is Israel’s goal?

Finally, a report dated October 13 prepared for the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence by a research center close to Israeli intelligence indicates that the Sinai Plan occupies an important place in the expectations of the Tel Aviv administration regarding Gaza after the war. The report states that transferring the civilian population of Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula is the most desirable option for Israel’s security, and it is envisaged that civilians will first be transferred to tent cities in the area and then permanent housing will be established there.

*Is Egypt receptive to the proposal?

Emphasizing the need for the Palestinians to remain in Gaza, Egyptian President Sisi believes that this step will mean the liquidation of the Palestinian cause, and that potential attacks launched by Palestinian resistance groups against Israel in the long term will be Egypt’s responsibility. Al-Sisi said in his speech with US President Joe Biden two days ago that he “will not allow displaced Palestinians to cross into Egyptian territory.”

*What does Palestine say?

Palestinians consider mass immigration a “red line.” Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for the Mahmoud Abbas administration, said that they are against the plan, saying: “We are against transfer to any place and in any form, and we consider this a red line that we will not allow to be crossed.” And that mass migration would be “equivalent to declaring a new war.”

*What does the world say?

It is noteworthy that the United States is conducting supportive contacts with Israel in this context. The Financial Times claimed that Netanyahu was trying to persuade European Union leaders to pressure Egypt to receive Palestinian refugees. However, according to the Financial Times; Countries such as Germany and France saw the proposal as unrealistic, noting that Egyptian officials oppose the idea of ​​accepting refugees from Gaza, even temporarily.

(Tags for translation)Sisi

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