Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly recently made a strong statement during a visit to al-Arish in northern Sinai. He declared that Egypt will not accept any Palestinian refugees into the country. Accompanied by government officials and public figures, Madbouly emphasized Egypt’s commitment to protecting its territory and stated, “We are prepared to sacrifice millions of lives to ensure that no one encroaches upon our territory.”
This declaration comes in response to reports that an Israeli government ministry has proposed transferring the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. The Wall Street Journal reported on this wartime proposal, which has sparked concern and discussion.
Madbouly’s statement serves as a clear affirmation of Egypt’s unwavering commitment to its territorial integrity and sovereignty. He emphasized that Egypt will not allow anything to be imposed on it and that regional issues should not be solved at the expense of Egypt. This warning is directed at any entities considering the idea of relocating the Palestinian population from Gaza to Sinai.
According to Ynet News, the Israeli Intelligence Ministry has drafted a document proposing the transfer of Gaza’s civilian population to tent cities in northern Sinai. The plan includes the subsequent construction of permanent cities and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor. Additionally, a security zone would be created inside Israel to prevent the displaced Palestinians from entering. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has downplayed the report, stating that it is a “concept paper” and a hypothetical exercise.
During his visit to al-Arish, Madbouly also visited the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. He expressed Egypt’s commitment to addressing the humanitarian crisis faced by the innocent residents of Gaza and engaging with all levels of leadership, including President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and state agencies, to find a solution.
Madbouly’s statement aligns with the sentiment expressed by Jordanian leader King Abdullah, who has also stated that Jordan and Egypt will not accept Palestinian refugees. He referred to it as a “red line” and emphasized that it is part of a plan by certain actors to create de facto issues on the ground.
The refusal of Egypt and Jordan to accept Palestinian refugees reflects the complexities and challenges surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the situation unfolds, it will be crucial for all parties involved to seek diplomatic solutions that uphold the rights and dignity of all individuals affected by the conflict.