Egypt rejects Israel's possible displacement of Gaza’s Palestinians at Islamic Summit

Egypt rejects Israel's possible displacement of Gaza’s Palestinians at Islamic Summit
Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry has made it clear that Egypt will not tolerate any attempt by Israel to displace Gazans into the Sinai Peninsula.
2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
05 May, 2024
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reiterated his country's rejection of the possible displacement of Gazans. [Getty]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reiterated over the weekend his country’s rejection of any possible displacement of Palestinians of neighbouring Gaza, which has been under an ongoing Israeli onslaught for the seventh consecutive month.

Addressing the 15th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Gambian capital of Banjul, which took place from Friday to Saturday and was attended by over 50 member countries, Shoukry warned of a looming Israeli ground invasion of Rafah City in Palestine, which borders Egypt's North Sinai province.

The Egyptian government has repeatedly expressed concerns over Israel's suggested scenario of forcibly expelling Palestinians from Gaza to the Sinai region.

Egypt's concern about Israel's attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians from Gaza to Sinai dates back to the 1950s, but has intensified since Israel launched its war on Gaza on 7 October. The conflict has so far claimed the lives of over 34,600 Gazans, mostly women and children.

During the summit, Egypt's top diplomat further called for taking a “decisive stance” against what he described as the “delusions” of eliminating the Palestinian cause.

“The proud Palestinian people, who hold tight to their land, the Islamic and Arab peoples and those of the free world have not and will not accept the forced displacement of the landowners from their occupied territories in violation to international conventions,” Shoukry noted.

In his speech, given on behalf of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Shoukry emphasised the longstanding call for a two-state solution, advocating for a Palestinian state based on the pre-June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, which he described as crucial for enduring peace and the stability and security of the entire Middle East.

Shoukry cautioned that the Israel's rejection of a Palestinian state “is likely to drag the entire region into unprecedented threats.” He also held Israel accountable for impeding the delivery of aid supplies and relief efforts to Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah crossing in North Sinai, the besieged strip's only connection to the outside world.

Truce talks resumed in Cairo on Saturday, involving representatives from Hamas and mediators from the United States, Egypt, and Qatar, with Israel absent from the discissions. So far, no significant progress has been reported.

Over the years, Cairo has played a key role in mediating peace deals between the Palestinians and Israelis, as well as among rival Palestinian factions.