Israel proposes creation of Palestinian state in Sinai peninsula

Published 16.02.2017 23:53 Modified 16.02.2017 23:53

After U.S. President Donald Trump's unclear statements over the creation of Palestine as part of a peace accord between Israel and Palestinians under the two-state solution, reports over proposing to establish a Palestinian state in the Sinai peninsula have been revived once again by Israel. Ahead of the meeting between President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an Israeli minister stated that Israel and Egypt have revived a plan to settle Palestinians in the Sinai peninsula, rather than creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

"Trump and Netanyahu will adopt the plan of Egypt's Sisi. A Palestinian state in Gaza and Sinai, instead of Judea and Samaria," a member of the Knesset for Likud party, Ayoob Kara tweeted on Monday evening. Egyptian officials denied a proposal to give the Sinai peninsula for a Palestinian state, noting that the country has fully supported the two-state solution.

The settlement of Palestinians in Sinai is an old plan that has been offered by the Egyptian authorities several times, which was rejected outright by Palestinian authorities. The plan was first proposed to the Egyptian government in 1956, according to the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel, which is bitter enemies with the Hamas in the neighboring Gaza Strip, sees Egypt as an important ally in the battle against Daesh in the region and the two countries have close security and intelligence ties. While their historic 1979 peace agreement limited the number of Egyptian forces in the border area near Israel, it includes provisions to allow Egypt to increase its forces if Israel agrees. The northeastern Sinai region has been a militant hotspot for several years.

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