Abbas Denies 'Fabricated' Reports of Sinai State Offer

Secretary-General of Abbas's office says Egypt agrees with PA on 1949 Armistice line borders, never offered Sinai for PA state.

Ari Yashar,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's office wasted no time on Monday denying reports that Egypt had offered the PA a state in the Sinai Peninsula, in return for the PA agreeing to forego demands on the 1949 Armistice lines as borders.

Al-Tayyib Abd Al-Rahim, Secretary-General of Abbas's office, told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency that the reports were "fabricated."

Al-Rahim added that Abbas would not accept any alternative to a "Palestinian state" on the 1949 Armistice lines with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

"This news is completely false and the proposal is an old one suggested by former head of the Israeli National Security Council Giora Eiland, who suggested to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and parts of Sinai with autonomy in the West Bank," al-Rahim said.

Abbas's representative further claimed that Egypt shares the PA's position calling for a "two state solution" based on the 1949 Armistice lines.

According to the reports released earlier on Monday by IDF RadioEgyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi offered Abbas 160 square kilometers of the Sinai Peninsula adjoining Gaza to the PA, thus creating a Palestinian state five times the present size of Gaza.

The area, which would be demilitarized according to the proposal, would absorb Palestinian "refugees," while the PA would gain full autonomy and a de facto state in its Judea and Samaria cities as well.

According to the report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was aware of the offer and the United States had already approved. It was noted, as al-Rahim commented, that Israeli academicians and Major General (ret.) Giora Eiland had raised the idea years ago only to have it rejected by Egypt.

Several MKs embraced the reports quickly on Monday, with MK Ayelet Shaked calling on Netanyahu to seriously pursue the proposal, saying "if the report is indeed correct, the president of Egypt has managed to understand what the Left in Israel has refused to understand for decades."

Likewise Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called the offer a "vision of the end of days," saying "all that's left is to persuade Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas)."








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