Egypt, Palestine deny offer to give Palestinians Sinai land
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - YOUM7 (Archive)
By SAMAR SAMIR

CAIRO: Both Palestinian and Egyptian officials denied Monday Israeli media reports claiming that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi proposed during his meeting with his Palestinian counterpart to give a piece of the Sinai Peninsula to establish a Palestinian state.

Israel Army Radio reported that Sisi had offered for Abbas, during their meeting Sunday, to establish a Palestinian state on Gaza territories with a 1600 km sq tract of land from neighboring Sinai, which would increase the land of Gaza to fivefold of its current size.  In return, the radio reported Abbas would give up the demand of establishing a state with the 1967 borders.

An Egyptian official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied Monday such reports, saying such reports are “groundless.”

The anonymous official added that proposal had been offered by former president Mohamed Morsi “when he promised the Palestinians to give them a piece of land from Sinai to establish a Palestinian state.”

Palestinian Presidential office general secretary al-Tayyeb Abdel-Rehim denied to Palestinian Ma’an News Agency Monday the Israeli reports.

“The Egyptian and Palestinian leaderships have unified their stance on the establishment of a Palestinian state on the lands occupied in 1967 and Jerusalem as its capital; President Mahmoud Abbas has updated President Sisi on the future vision to reach this goal,” he said.

Abbas paid a three-day visit to Cairo to meet Sisi and attend the 142nd session of the Arab League Foreign Ministerial meeting, and they discussed Sunday the latest developments, stated the Egyptian Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Badawi Sunday.

Both presidents tackled also the Israeli latest decision of confiscating 900 acres near Gush Etzion, a cluster of Israeli settlements south of Jerusalem.

In his visit to Egypt Aug. 23, Abbas told Egyptian anchorman Ahmed Moussa that “the Israeli situation is known, it wants Gaza remains separate from the West Bank and Israel does not mind to make both parties (Gaza and the West Bank separate entities), It does not mind if Egypt grants Gaza 1,600 kilometers from Sinai.”

“This is known as Giora Eiland project and we heard it in Egypt in the last time, last times but we rejected it. So Israel does not mind,” he added.

In 2010, former Israeli National Security Advisor Giora Eiland wrote a 46-page report, “Regional Alternatives to the Two-State Solution,” published by  the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, suggesting that Egypt could give Palestinians  a 720km sq piece of land, 24 km along the Mediterranean coast from Rafah westward toward Arish, as well as 30 km from the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israel, in return, would give Egypt a piece of land from Negev.

In return for this addition to Gaza, the Palestinians could cede 12 percent of the West Bank, which will be annexed to Israel, according to the report.

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