Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Reuters

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday denied reports that he had offered to establish a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula, the website of Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

In a speech to mark national teachers' day and which mostly dealt with education, Sisi stressed that no one can make such promises and that there is no room for talk about the matter.

Earlier Monday, Army Radio reported that Sisi has offered Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to cede 160 square kilometers of the Sinai Peninsula adjoining Gaza to the PA, thus creating a Palestinian state five times the present size of Gaza.

In return, the PA would stop demanding that Israel return to the indefensible pre-1967 borders. The Egyptian president also reportedly suggested that Palestinian "refugees" be allowed to settle in the new, much enlarged Gaza, which would be demilitarized.

According to the report, Abbas had rejected the offer. Later Monday, Abbas's office wasted no time in denying the offer had even been made.

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.

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)."