Egypt will not be coerced or have regional issues liquidated at its expense: PM from N. Sinai

Ahram Online , Tuesday 31 Oct 2023

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Tuesday that Egypt will not “accept anything to be imposed on it and we will not allow regional issues to be liquidated or resolved at our expense” as he has made a visit to North Sinai’s El-Arish.

Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly visits Battalion 101 in Al-Arish. Cabinet

Madbouly’s remarks came while the Israeli unrelenting war in Gaza, which neighbours North Sinai’s Rafah, continues for the 25th day with Israeli officials lobbying to pressure Egypt into accepting Gaza refugees.

Cairo has consistently rejected the Israeli plans, arguing that the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza will lead to “liquidating” the Palestinian cause as it will make the two-state solution unachievable.

“We the Egyptians are ready to sacrifice millions of lives so that nobody comes near a grain of sand [in North Sinai]; it is a clear message,” Madbouly stressed, as he spoke during a ceremony to kick off the second phase of development projects in the northeastern governorate.

The armed forces personnel are “highly prepared to implement any mission assigned to them in order to protect Egypt’s national security at the northeastern strategic direction,” said Mohamed Rabie, Commander of the Second Field Army, during the ceremony.

Madbouly is currently in Battalion 101 in El-Arish, accompanied by a group of tribal leaders of Sinai, politicians, parliament members, and media professionals.

According to media reports, Madbouly will visit the Rafah border crossing connecting North Sinai to Gaza and inspect some projects implemented in Egypt’s northeastern governorate.

The premier will also hold a press conference during the visit.

Pushing for de-escalation

Egypt has been pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza that allows the delivery of urgent humanitarian aid to the strip, saves civilians’ lives, and prepares the ground for resuming the peace track.

Egypt has taken it upon itself to receive dozens of humanitarian aid planes from the world countries as well as local and international organizations to be delivered to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.

Having repeatedly highlighted the need to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza amid the increasingly deteriorated health and security situation, Egypt has delivered over 3,100 tons of aid to Gaza since the start of the war, according to the North Sinai governorate on Monday

According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, 144 aid trucks arrived in Gaza from Egypt late on Monday, falling far short of the 100 required per day to meet the needs of Gaza residents, according to UN estimations.

However, amid Egypt’s calls for peace, blasts hit Egypt’s South Sinai last Friday as projectiles landed in Nuweiba and a drone fell in Taba near the border with Israel.

The Israeli government blamed Houthis in Yemen for the attacks, saying the two incidents were caused by drones launched with the intention of hitting Israel.

On Sunday 22 October, a number of Egyptian border surveillance personnel were injured in an Israeli shelling in Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) near the border with Gaza.

Israel apologized for the incident, saying that the shelling was “accidental.”

Commenting on the drone incidents a day later, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for respecting Egypt’s sovereignty, warning of the danger that can be inflicted on the whole region if the ongoing conflict expands.

El-Sisi stressed that Egypt is capable of protecting itself, highlighting the significant efforts it exerts to achieve de-escalation.

‘In their dreams’

“The only thing that can protect a place is to be developed, inhabited, and constructed so that no one can think or even dream to covet it,” Madbouly said, highlighting Egypt's plan over the past decade to develop Sinai in parallel with the fight against terrorism.

Egypt aims to implement over 300 developmental projects worth EGP 363 billion in North Sinai until 2030 in many fields, including infrastructure, education, health services, ports and airports, trade and logistics, irrigation and agriculture, urban and industrial development, and tourism, Madbouly noted.

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