Egypt mulls plans for global resettlement for Gaza’s population, report says

Sources tell Arab media Cairo pressing West, Arab countries to allow Gazans to move to various destinations via the Rafah crossing amid ongoing war

By Lior Ben Ari, YNET NEWS

Despite Egypt’s continuous and public opposition to Gazans entering its territory following Israel’s war against Hamas, Cairo is preparing for the possibility such a scenario would happen against its will.

Arab newspaper Al-Akhbar quoted sources on Saturday claiming that Egypt is exploring ways to deal with the Palestinian migration that may begin in early 2024. One option the country is looking into is the possibility that other countries will agree to host the Gazans who’ll be allowed to leave via the Rafah border crossing.

According to this scenario, Egypt will accept hundreds of thousands of Gazans based on criteria related to medical and humanitarian conditions, or those with immigration visas, foreign student visas, etc.

These individuals will stay in Egypt for a limited period at the beginning before moving to other countries where they’ll receive special status. According to sources who spoke with the newspaper, the change in Cairo’s position comes from the understanding that the Strip’s destruction is still ongoing, and the assumption that Israel will prevent attempts at reconstruction and limit humanitarian aid further, making life in Gaza difficult.
Egypt has started examining whether Arab countries in North Africa and the Gulf States will agree to receive immigration quotas. Meanwhile, Cairo is seeking broad economic support from Europe, the United States and other Arab states. Egypt is also interested in promoting scholarships for Gazan students in the West and Turkey, allowing them to move there with their families.
Nevertheless, Egypt is still investing considerable efforts in trying to prevent mass migration from the Gaza Strip to its territory. According to Al-Akhbar, during his visit to the United States in recent days, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told his American counterparts that Israel’s ongoing policy may lead to the termination or freezing of the peace agreement between the countries.
Egypt clarified to the U.S. that the displacement of Gazans into its territory threatens its security and turns the Sinai Peninsula into a hostile area, also affecting Israel. Additionally, it was reported that the country is trying to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid shipments into the Gaza Strip and ease their inspection at the border, fearing that shortages in the Strip may expedite the process of Gazans demanding entry.
UK-based Arab news outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that due to the IDF’s ground operation and the push of Gazan residents to the southern part of the Strip, no space is left for their arrival in Rafah.
As a result, tents have been set up in the area, less than a kilometer from the border with Egypt. Sources informed the newspaper that the Egyptian army has recently set up barriers, and reinforced its forces in the Egyptian side of Rafah, fearing that Palestinians may attempt to cross the border.
December 10, 2023 | 1 Comment »

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  1. This is a delicate situation. As I understand it, Egypt got rid of the Muslim Brotherhood that had tried to take over the country and bring it back to the Stone Age, so Egypt cannot afford to have the Muslim Brotherhood back in Egypt.

    At the same time, the reality is that the Palestinians ARE THE CREATION OF THE SURROUNDING ARAB STATES, they have never been the responsibility of Israel and never should be considered Israel’s responsibility. The Arab countries wanted the Palestinians inside of Israel to act as a perpetual punishment for the Israelis for the creation of the Jewish State. They all could have repatriated the Palestinians, as Israel repatriated many Jewish citizens from their countries in 1948.

    It is my understanding that if Israel destroys Hamas, Egypt would be much more likely to take in Palestinian refugees, but it is a catch 22: in order for Israel to destroy Hamas, Israel may need to find a place for the Palestinians from Gaza to go.

    Thus there must be a way for Israel to destroy Hamas, and it may be in the interests of the Sunni Gulf nations and Egypt to help take some of the refugees so Israel can destroy Hamas, and then settle these refugees once Hamas is gone.

    I had been thinking that perhaps it would be possible for Egypt to take Gazans for a temporary period and that any country taking refugees would let the refugees know they would be instantly deported if they engage in terrorist organizing or activities.

    The US demand that the refugees not be displaced will have to be disregarded if it is impossible to destroy Hamas without their displacement.

    Once again this demand from the Biden administration is a phony humanitarian issue: Gazans want to be safe, they don’t want to live in a temporary shelter in danger of getting killed by the war, so they will want to go to a safe place. I cannot imagine them feeling they want to stay in Gaza no matter what the conditions there. The Biden administration is looking to appear “humanitarian” when what they really want is to hamstring Israel so Israel cannot destroy Hamas.

    The Biden administration is totally out of touch with the realities on the ground: they act as if the Palestinians really want a two state solution when they never have wanted one. They should not be able to fool any Israeli at this point.