Egypt's President rejects mass influx of Gaza refugees, blames Israel for aid blockagetext_fields
In the midst of the ongoing Israeli-Gaza conflict, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has firmly stated that he will not permit a large influx of refugees from Gaza into Egypt.
He has expressed concerns that such an influx might set a dangerous precedent, leading to the displacement of Palestinians not only from Gaza but also from the West Bank into Jordan, reported AFP.
After holding talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President al-Sisi pointed to Israel's airstrikes on the Rafah crossing, which connects Gaza to Egypt, as the primary reason for the failure to deliver much-needed aid to Gaza's 2.4 million residents.
He warned of the potential consequences, saying, "The displacement of Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt means the same displacement will take place for Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan. Subsequently, the Palestinian state we are talking about will become impossible to implement because the land would be there, but the people would not."
This announcement came as Gaza faced its 12th consecutive day of intense Israeli bombardment, triggered by a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7, resulting in significant casualties, primarily among civilians.
With Gaza running out of essential resources such as electricity, food, water, and fuel, pressure has been mounting for humanitarian aid to be allowed through Egypt's Rafah crossing, the sole access point not controlled by Israel.
President al-Sisi clarified that Egypt had not closed the crossing but cited the ongoing Israeli bombings on the Palestinian side as a significant impediment to its operation.
In the face of this humanitarian crisis, Chancellor Scholz assured that Germany and Egypt were working together to facilitate humanitarian access to Gaza as swiftly as possible.
Both leaders also expressed concern about the potential for regional spillover and called for immediate international intervention to prevent further escalation.
President al-Sisi warned that if there were a mass exodus of Gazans to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, it could create a new base for terrorist operations against Israel, putting the peace between the two nations at risk. He suggested that Israel's Negev Desert might serve as an alternative refuge for Gazans during the conflict.
This development has raised significant concerns among leaders and communities across the Middle East, and President al-Sisi called for a collective effort to find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis.