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Egypt says Israel pushing towards forced displacement of Palestinians in Gaza

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry holds a press conference with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Cairo, 9 January 2024.(Photo by AFP)

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said that all steps taken by Israel are aimed at forcibly displacing Palestinians, as the regime presses ahead with its months-long brutal aggression on the besieged strip.

"All the steps that are being taken (by Israel) are to push towards displacement," the top Egyptian diplomat said while speaking at a news conference in Cairo with his German counterpart on Tuesday.

"We are under the illusion that efforts are being made to prevent displacement, but we have not seen real efforts to prevent displacement," Shoukry stated.

Shoukry also blamed the slow and limited entry of aid into Gaza on Israeli inspections.

A document leaked from Israel's intelligence ministry and published by WikiLeaks earlier revealed the Israeli regime had plans to force Palestinians living in the besieged territory to relocate to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

WikiLeaks said the document had been issued by Israel’s ministry of intelligence on October 13, nearly a week after the regime launched a brutal military campaign against Gaza.

The document showed that the Israeli officials were in favor of forced displacement of civilians from Gaza to North Sinai because of the “positive and long term strategic results” the strategy could entail.

The advisory document said forced displacement of people from Gaza to Sinai could take place in three stages in which tent cities are built in the desert region before a humanitarian corridor is opened to allow the Gazans flee from a territory which is under attacks and a siege by Israel.

A final stage of the plan would entail construction of cities in North Sinai to prevent a return of the displaced Palestinians to Gaza.

Arab countries have previously warned that an influx of Palestinian refugees fleeing the war would be unacceptable because it would amount to the expulsion of Palestinians from their land.

Also in October, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a phone call with his Egyptian counterpart said that the ultimate goal behind the Israeli regime's bloody attacks against the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank was to force Palestinian people to leave their motherland.

Shoukry for his part,  back then had said his country was opposed to the further spread of the war, arguing that the Palestinian nation must remain in its own land.

Elsewhere in his remarks on Tuesday, the top Egyptian diplomat noted that the immediate priority was to get a ceasefire for other political and humanitarian issues to be resolved, including the release of Israeli captives and the entry of aid into Gaza.

Israel began the war on Gaza on October 7, following Operation al-Aqsa Storm, which was launched by Gaza-based Palestinian resistance groups in response to the regime’s campaign of bloodshed and destruction against Palestinian people.

More than three months into the Israeli genocide in Gaza; the regime keeps pounding the blockaded territory with airstrikes and artillery fire.

The Health Ministry in Gaza says the Israeli regime has committed 12 massacres throughout the besieged territory so far on Tuesday. It says at least 126 Palestinians have been killed and 241 others wounded as a result.

The situation also remains tense at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza where hundreds of patients and healthcare staff went missing on Monday.

At least nine Israeli soldiers were killed and several more injured in the Gaza Strip as Palestinian fighters put up stiff resistance against invading forces.

The overall death toll from the US-managed Israeli genocide in Gaza has now reached 23,210, mostly women and children. Some two million people have also been displaced.

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