Egypt considers any Israeli forcible displacement of Palestinians 'war crime' and would never be party to it: SIS chief

Ahram Online , Saturday 17 Feb 2024

Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, denied media reports alleging that Egypt is building camps on the Egyptian side of the border in Sinai to accommodate displaced Palestinians from Gaza, stressing Cairo considers any Israeli forcible displacement of Palestinians from the strip a war crime and would never be a part of it.

Diaa Rashwan
Head of State Information Service (SIS) Diaa Rashwan. Photo: SIS


Rashwan reiterated Egypt’s rejection of any “forced or voluntary” displacement of Palestinians outside their lands, especially to Egypt.

Any such displacement would result in the “certain liquidation of the Palestinian issue, and [would be] a direct threat to Egyptian sovereignty and national security,” he added.

This is “a red line and Cairo has the means to deal with it immediately and effectively,” he stressed in TV comments on Friday night.

“Egypt, with its declared and frank position, cannot take any actions on its territory that contradict this stance and give the impression – [that could be] falsely promoted by some - that it is participating in the crime of displacement advocated for by some Israeli parties,” he noted.

The SIS chief asserted that the country views the forced displacement as a grave war crime under international humanitarian law and “Egypt will never be part of it. On the contrary, it will do what it takes to stop it and prevent those who seek to commit it from implementing it,” he added.

Egypt had already established a buffer zone and fences on the border for a long time before the outbreak of the current crisis, Rashwan said.

These measures, he noted, are taken by any country to maintain the security of its borders and sovereignty over its territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened an assault on Rafah, Gaza’s southern city that now serves as the last refuge for Palestinians fleeing Israeli brazen war.

Less than 300,000 people typically inhabit the city, but now – due to Israeli airstrikes and ground offensive in central and northern Gaza – it accommodates an additional 1.4 million Palestinians.

Several countries and international parties – including the US, the EU, the UN, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other global aid groups – have expressed warnings over the potential repercussions of the Rafah offensive.

Israel has killed and wounded more than 100,000 Palestinians, most of whom were women and children, since the start of its war against Gaza

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