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Israeli projects aim to export the Gaza problem to Egypt’s Sinai

18 15 0
14.08.2019

There has been an increase recently in Israeli projects seeking solutions to what it calls the “Gaza problem”. They have been focusing on Egypt’s Sinai, and appear to be foreshadowing a potential population transfer of Palestinians to the Sinai peninsula. Such a move would relieve Israel from the security burdens of managing Gaza and instead transfer it onto the Egyptian authorities.

The Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, run by Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and former Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, revealed a plan to solve the Gaza problem. This plan calls for a seaport and an airport in the Sinia thus facilitating travel for people and goods to and from Gaza. It also aims to establish a power plant and a water desalination project to meet the needs of the Palestinians in Gaza, as well as a train track extended from Al-Arish to Gaza and hotels and entertainment facilities.

This Israeli project was put together by Shimon Shapira, who served as the former Military Secretary to the Prime Minister and as Israel Foreign Ministry chief of staff, and by Shlomi Fogel, one of the proposers of the regional initiatives between Israel and its Arab neighbours. This relies on keeping economic and tourism projects under the responsibility of the Egyptian government. The inhabitants of Gaza will also be under Egyptian security supervision. This project is a continuation of the past Israeli government projects that call for extending Gaza south, towards Sinai.

Yehuda Yifrach, an Israeli writer for the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon, put forward a plan to solve the Gaza problem based on encouraging voluntary migration from it and offering incentives for every Palestinian family to leave and build a new life outside its walls. He claimed that money would convince hundreds of thousands of hesitant Gazans, especially if they find a third country willing to host those who want to move to that country if they receive financial incentives.

Amir Oren, a military analyst, told Haaretz that Egypt’s concession of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia could prompt Israel to emulate the agreement to resolve its conflict with the Palestinians by annexing part of Sinai to Gaza. This means that the establishment of a Palestinian state in Sinai is an option, and Israel hopes to reproduce such an agreement between Israel and the Arabs.

Read: Will the UN act if the US recognises Israel’s sovereignty over West........

© Middle East Monitor