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September 8, 2014 12:14 pm

Egypt Reportedly Offers Abbas a Palestinian State in the Sinai

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office. – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reportedly offered Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas a Palestinian state in Sinai.

Egypt had been working on the proposal for several weeks and presented it to Abbas in Cairo over the weekend, Army Radio reported Monday. The plan involves transferring 620 square miles to the PA as the territory of a Palestinian state.

The Egyptian initiative proposes expanding the Gaza Strip to five times its current size and settling all of the Palestinian refugees in the new state, which would be demilitarized. The PA would also be granted autonomy in the West Bank’s Palestinian cities in exchange for relinquishing the demand for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders, according to the Army Radio report.

Sources privy to the details of the proposal said Abbas rejected the proposal despite substantial Egyptian pressure to accept it. The U.S. was involved and green-lighted the initiative, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also in the loop, but did not brief his cabinet on the matter.

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