Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he will not allow any major influx of refugees from Gaza citing that it will set a precedent for “the displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan”, news agency AFP reported.
Sisi suggested that Israel could house ousted Palestinians in the Negev Desert. “Palestinians could be moved there until Israel is finished with what it has declared is an operation to eliminate armed groups from Gaza. And then it could return them if it wished,” Sisi said.
“The displacement of Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt means the same displacement will take place for Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan,” Sisi was quoted as saying by the news agency.
“Subsequently, the Palestinian state that we are talking about and that the world is talking about will become impossible to implement — because the land is there, but the people are not. Therefore, I warn of the danger of this matter,” he further added.
The Egyptian President made these comments after holding talks with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Sisi also blamed Israeli air strikes on Rafah crossing for the failure to get aid to Gaza City.
More than 3,000 have been killed in Gaza which is out of electricity, fuel, food and water. The attacks are in retaliation for a shock cross-border attack launched by Hamas on October 7 that killed at least 1,400 people in Israel, most of them civilians.
Israel is now facing pressure for aid to be allowed in through Egypt’s Rafah crossing with Gaza as this is the only access to the thin strip of land which also happens to be one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
Sisi said that the Rafah crossing has not been closed but its operations have been hindered due to “developments on the ground and the repeated bombings by Israel of the Palestinian side of the crossing have prevented its operation”.
There are hundreds of lorries carrying essential aid waiting for the past six days on the Egyptian side of the crossing. Israel has bombed Rafah crossing four times. German Chancellor Scholz told reporters Berlin and Cairo “are working together to get humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip as quickly as possible”.