Israel pressures Egypt to take in Palestinian refugees

Senior Egyptian official reportedly says Cairo interested in dialog with Palestinian factions to prevent relocation of Gazans into Sinai

Itamar Eichner, Lior Ben Ari|
Israel has approached international leaders, seeking their help in persuading Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to allow Palestinian refugees into Sinai.
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However, El-Sisi opposes this idea and recently suggested that Israel should accommodate them in the Negev instead. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked various leaders to try and convince Egypt to admit these refugees, believing it to be the best solution.
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נשיא מצרים עבד אל-פתאח א-סיסי בפגישה בקהיר עם נשיא צרפת עמנואל מקרון
נשיא מצרים עבד אל-פתאח א-סיסי בפגישה בקהיר עם נשיא צרפת עמנואל מקרון
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
(Photo: Christophe Ena / POOL / AFP)
One proposal suggests that the World Bank could forgive a significant part of Egypt's debt in return for accepting the refugees. Egypt is concerned about the potential influx of refugees attempting to breach the Rafah border. Another suggestion on the table is to transport injured Palestinians via ships and set up a field hospital in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Egypt has invited Hamas for a meeting in Cairo in the coming days to discuss the prisoner issue and the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing a senior Egyptian official.
According to the report, Cairo's initiative to address the crisis goes beyond just inviting a Hamas delegation; invitations will also be extended to leaders of other Palestinian factions, such as Islamic Jihad.
The official added that Cairo is considering having a permanent representative of the Hamas politburo in Egypt to facilitate communication in the near future. This comes, as per the official, "within the framework of Egypt's changing stance toward Hamas, in light of Hamas' clear position refusing migration to Sinai and in view of Israel's attempts to push Gaza residents toward the Egyptian border."
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מחנה אוהלים בחאן יונס
מחנה אוהלים בחאן יונס
Encampment for displaced individuals in Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip
The official emphasized that it's not in Egypt's interest to adopt the Israeli and American narrative regarding Hamas and other Palestinian factions at this stage. During its meetings with Western officials, Cairo has highlighted that there are "resistance movements" in Gaza, not "terrorist organizations.”
According to the official, Cairo has expanded its engagements concerning the situation in the Gaza Strip to avoid Israeli and American pressures regarding the relocation of Gaza residents.
The official revealed that recently, Egyptian security officials have been in contact with Hezbollah in Lebanon to consult about Gaza and to assess Hezbollah's intentions regarding a full-scale war against Israel in the north and its implications for the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave.
The official added that the engagements with Hezbollah were accompanied by contacts with Iran, stating, "Currently, there are high-level engagements between Cairo and Tehran due to the crisis in Gaza. Egypt realized it needs to broaden its alliances to cope with American and Israeli pressures on relocating Gazans to Sinai."
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