Skip to content

Egypt Reported To Be Preparing for Influx of Palestinians

Despite the assurances coming from Israel, Egypt seems to be preparing for the likelihood of a spillover of Palestinians into the Sinai from Rafah. Middle East Eye notes that on Feb. 14 the Sinai Foundation for Human Rights said Egyptian authorities are preparing a 10 km buffer zone to receive displaced Palestinians. Contractors working on the project told the independent rights group that work is being carried out under the supervision of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, predicting it will be completed within 10 days.

A unnamed military source confirmed to MEE the Sinai Foundation’s report, but denied that Egypt would accept a “mass influx of Palestinians.” He said the construction is “to create a centralized area to limit infiltration of militants into Sinai and prepare for the worst.”

Mohamad Sabry, a Sinai expert and writer, told MEE however that there are “extremely strong signals that Egypt has already reached a semi-finalized agreement on receiving the Palestinians of Gaza either in part or in full.”

“Egypt has so far succumbed to every Israeli condition,” he said. “Look at the aid, for example. Egypt has been told to not send aid directly to Gaza and not break the siege, and Egypt accepted. They sent the aid through Nitzana and al-Awja [40 km south of Rafah] to be checked first by the Israelis and then the Israelis decide if aid goes in.” He also pointed out that Israel has to sign off on the names of wounded Palestinians, as well as ordinary travellers, before their evacuation to Egypt.