Egypt denies allegations of participating in any process involving displacement of Gazans into Sinai

By Thomson Reuters Feb 16, 2024 | 1:55 PM

CAIRO (Reuters) -Egypt categorically denied allegations of participating in any process involving the displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip into the Sinai Peninsula, the country’s State Information Service (SIS) said on Friday.

Four sources told Reuters that Egypt, as a precautionary measure, is preparing an area at the Gaza border which could accommodate Palestinians in case an Israeli offensive into Rafah prompts an exodus across the frontier.

The news was also reported by other outlets, including the Wall Street Journal.

“Egypt’s decisive stance since the beginning of the aggression … is to completely reject any forced or voluntary displacement of Palestinian brothers from the Gaza Strip to outside it, especially to Egyptian territory,” Diaa Rashwan, the SIS head, said in a statement.

He said such scenario would entail “a definite liquidation of the Palestinian cause and a direct threat to Egyptian sovereignty and national security.”

The Sinai Foundation for Human Rights, an activist organisation, published images on Monday it said showed construction trucks and cranes working in the area and images of concrete barriers along the border.

“Egypt has already had a buffer zone and barriers in this area for a long time before the current crisis erupted. These are measures taken by any country in the world to preserve the security of its borders and its sovereignty over its territories,” Rahswan added.

Describing any sort of displacement as a “crime advocated by some Israeli parties”, Rashwan said Egypt will take all necessary measures to stop it.

Earlier this week, Egypt hosted talks involving the U.S., Israel and Qatar on a possible Gaza truce. An Egyptian source said the country was optimistic that talks to clinch a ceasefire can avoid the prospect of displacement.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; writing by Adam Makary and Hatem Maher; editing by Jonathan Oatis)