“IDF Radio” says President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi offered land to make the Gaza Strip five times bigger.
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi presented Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) with a proposal to establish a Palestinian state on half of the Sinai Peninsula, according to an IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal) report this morning. According to the report, the plan had been developing over the past few weeks, but was presented to Abu Mazen at a meeting that took place in Cairo over the weekend.
The plan includes an offer to give the Palestinian Authority 1, 600 square kilometers of Egyptian land adjacent to the Gaza Strip for the establishment of a Palestinian state. In the plan, the Egyptian president is essentially offering to make the Gaza Strip five times bigger than it is today.
Palestinian refugees are to be returned to this state, and it will be demilitarized. In addition, according to the Egyptian proposal, the Palestinian Authority will be granted autonomy in the Palestinian cities in the West Bank, and Abu Mazen is to relinquish his demand to return to 1967 borders in exchange.
According to the sources that reported these details, despite the fact that President El-Sisi applied great pressure on Abu Mazen to accept the proposal, he rejected it out of hand. One of the levers used to apply pressure was US involvement, and support of the process.
It appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was aware of the details of the proposal as well. This surprising proposal is not El-Sisi’s brainchild – a similar plan was proposed by Israeli academics eight years ago, as well as by former National Security Council director Giora Eiland. At the time, the Egyptian government rejected the proposal out of hand.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com