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Egypt rejects displacement of Palestinians into Sinai or any other place- President El-Sissi

Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, Egyptian President   -  
Copyright © africanews
Hassan Ammar/AP


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said Thursday his country continues to "completely reject" the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt is concerned an Israeli ground assault on Rafah in southern Gaza would push hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians across the border into its territory.

The Egyptian president said:“Since the developments that the region has witnessed over the past months and the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian stance from the first moment has been to completely reject any displacement of the Palestinians from their land into Sinai or any other place in order to protect the Palestinian cause from liquidation and to defend Egypt’s national security.”

In February, the Associated Press reported two Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat warning that Egypt may suspend its decades-old peace treaty with Israel if troops from the country invaded Rafah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Rafah is Hamas’ last remaining stronghold after more than six months of war and that sending in ground troops is essential to defeat the group.

But Egypt opposes any move that could send desperate Palestinians fleeing across the border onto its territory. Rafah also serves as the besieged territory’s main entry point for humanitarian aid, and an Israeli attack could stifle the deliveries of key supplies.

Rafah’s population has swelled from 280,000 people to an estimated 1.4 million as Palestinians flee fighting elsewhere in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of those evacuees are living in sprawling tent camps.

Israel has carried out near-daily air raids on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million has sought refuge.

Despite calls for restraint, including from the United States, Israeli officials have vowed to expand its ground offensive against the Hamas militant group to the city.

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