Netanyahu 'seeking Palestinian state in Sinai with Sisi's help'

Netanyahu 'seeking Palestinian state in Sinai with Sisi's help'
A famously open Israeli minister broke ranks on Tuesday, reporting that Israel and Egypt are considering reviving an old plan to create a Palestinian state in the Sinai.
2 min read
15 February, 2017
Ayoub Kara MK standing with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2005 [Getty]
Israel and Egypt are reportedly plotting to create a new Palestinian state in the Sinai peninsula, using Egyptian donated land, an Israeli cabinet minister has announced.

The alleged plan will draw on President Sisi's abandoned plans to create a new Palestinian state connected to the Gaza strip - away from the West Bank, said Minister Ayoub Kara.

"Trump and Netanyahu will adopt the plan of Egypt's Sisi. A Palestinian state in Gaza and Sinai, instead of Judea and Samaria," the Likud MK tweeted on Monday evening, using the Israeli preffered name for the West Bank.

"This is how we will pave a path to peace, including with the Sunni coalition."

The plan has been tabled a number of times in the recent past, but was rejected outright due to its extreme lack of popularity among other Arab nations.

The minister's comments that the plan has been revived appear to be in line with current US and Israeli policy.

An unnamed United States official signalled on Tuesday that the Trump administration may be looking to abandon the two-state solution to the on-going occupation of Palestinian territories.

"A two-state solution that doesn't bring peace is not our goal that anybody wants to achieve," a senior White House official said.

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Sunday that he did not support the creation of a Palestinian State - but rather a "state-minus", which diplomats struggled to define at the time.

Netanyahu is currently in the US to hold talks with President Trump and his advisor, Jared Kushner, over the future of the Middle East.

There have been a large number of closed-door meetings between Egypt and various Palestinian leaders in recent months.

Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, reported that his organisation had "opened a new page" with Egypt, following his visit to Cairo for talks in January.

Mohammed Dahlan, the Fatah exile and long-term rival to Palestinian president Mohammad Abbas, is also currently chairing a second conference on the future of the Fatah party in Cairo.

Dahlan's previous conference in October, which hosted Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, also discussed the future of the Palestinian issue.

Ayoub Kara made a number of high-profile policy leaks in the past.

In November, the minister revealed important details about a security issue that was under a gag order, before subsequently taking it down.

Kara was also the first Israeli MK to openly break ranks in 2010 and publicly blame a spate of bush fires across the country on alleged Palestinian arson attacks.