Egypt steadfast against forced displacement of Palestinians despite all pressures: PM to parliament

Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 Nov 2023

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stated on Tuesday that Egypt has categorically rejected the forced displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to Sinai despite facing significant economic and political pressures.

 Mostafa Madbouly
Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly speaking during a parliament general session on Egyptian efforts regarding to prevent forced displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.


Madbouly’s remarks came during a parliamentary general session in response to 16 interpellation requests submitted by members of parliament (MPs) regarding Egypt’s efforts to prevent the forced displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

“Egypt has never closed the Rafah crossing even for a moment,” he said, dismissing such rumours as “part of fourth-generation warfare, targeting and undermining Egypt.”

 Madbouly stressed that Egypt welcomes the entry of Palestinians under normal circumstances at any time.

However, he added, “Allowing the entry of two million Palestinians under the current conditions would mean the permanent liquidation of the Palestinian issue, which Egypt will not accept under any circumstances.”

 “Any scenario aiming to displace the Palestinians will receive a decisive response from Egypt in accordance with international law,” Madbouly asserted.

The prime minister then outlined criteria governing Egypt's position towards the Palestinian cause through three key points:

First, Egypt is committed to safeguarding its national security and considers any attempt to forcibly displace Palestinians, and infringement upon its sovereignty.

Second, Egypt is dedicated to protecting the Palestinian Cause, which forced displacement would permanently threaten, especially in the face of extremist political currents seeking its demise.

Third, Egypt maintains that the Palestinian people have a right to their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the borders of 1967.

Cairo has consistently rejected Israeli plans to forcibly displace Palestinians, arguing that it would spell the end of the two-state solution.

In mid-November, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry slammed calls by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich for the “voluntary” displacement of Gazans Palestinians from Gaza, saying they would constitute "a full-fledged war crime.”

MPs speak

“We are a state of peace, we believe in peace, and we are peace advocates, but at the same time we warn that Egyptian national security cannot be touched,” Karim Darwish, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the House of Representatives, said during the session.

Darwish emphasized that Egyptian national security is a red line and that the continued escalation will affect peace in the region and even in the world.

For his part, Hanafy El-Gebaly, speaker of the House of Representatives, reaffirmed the parliament’s steadfast support for El-Sisi and the Egyptian government to take every measure to protect the nation from any covert attempts to undermine it.

Defending the homeland is tantamount to defending the Egyptian people, their identity, and history, a commitment for which he spares no effort, El-Gebaly said.

“The House of Representatives, as the legislative authority, always seeks to safeguard the higher interests of the state against all risks of aggression,” he said.

“Egyptian legislation is fully consistent with the international conventions and treaties ratified by Egypt, most notably the Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.”

Sinai development

In his speech before parliament on Tuesday, Madbouly also referred to the state’s ongoing efforts to develop Sinai.

Madbouly emphasized that no military force can protect Sinai without development, adding that comprehensive development is essential to prevent and stop any attempts to seize Sinai.

Egypt aims to resettle over eight million Egyptians in Sinai by 2050, Madbouly revealed.

Egypt has spent EGP 610 billion in 10 years to develop Sinai and plans to invest EGP 400 billion more to transform it into a global logistics centre, Ibrahim Al-Masry, undersecretary of the Defense and National Security Committee in the House of Representatives, pointed out during Tuesday’s session.

Most recently, on 2 November, the Egyptian government announced a LE363 billion allocation to complete the second stage of the development of North Sinai.

“The service sector will account for 55 percent of government investments directed to North Sinai, followed by the construction sector at 10.5 percent, and the agriculture and land reclamation schemes at 6.4 percent,” read the announcement.

Since 2014 more than LE600 billion had been allocated to the first stage of developing and reconstructing North Sinai, the bulk of which was spent on infrastructure projects.

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