Egypt Rejects Israeli Plan to Settle Palestinians in Sinai

 Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a joint press conference with the Turkish foreign minister in Cairo on October 14, 2023. (AFP)
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a joint press conference with the Turkish foreign minister in Cairo on October 14, 2023. (AFP)
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Egypt Rejects Israeli Plan to Settle Palestinians in Sinai

 Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a joint press conference with the Turkish foreign minister in Cairo on October 14, 2023. (AFP)
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a joint press conference with the Turkish foreign minister in Cairo on October 14, 2023. (AFP)

Egypt reiterated its rejection of an Israeli plan that calls for the forced displacement of millions of Palestinians in Gaza and their resettlement in Sinai.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry described the leaked Israeli intelligence ministry document as "ludicrous."

In the first official Egyptian comments on the document, he said: "I don’t think we would — anyone would — raise such a ludicrous proposition."

He made his remarks in an interview to CNN on Thursday.

"If that was the case, maybe the United States would also contemplate providing the same access to its southern border that might be expected for us in the Sinai," he added.

"States are sovereign and they are well-defined by their borders, by their populations. And the issue of displacement in itself is a matter that is in contravention, is in violation of international humanitarian law," Shoukry said. "So I think that nobody would undertake an illegal activity."

An Israeli government ministry had drafted a wartime proposal to transfer the Gaza Strip's 2.3 million people to Egypt's Sinai peninsula, drawing condemnation from the Palestinians and worsening tensions with Cairo.

The document is dated Oct. 13, six days after Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people in southern Israel and took over 240 hostage in an attack that provoked a devastating Israeli war in Gaza. It was first published by Sicha Mekomit, a local news site, and came to light this past week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office played down the report compiled by the Intelligence Ministry as a hypothetical exercise — a “concept paper.” But its conclusions revived for Palestinians memories of their greatest trauma — the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of people who fled or were forced from their homes during the fighting surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.

“We are against transfer to any place, in any form, and we consider it a red line that we will not allow to be crossed,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said of the report. “What happened in 1948 will not be allowed to happen again."

A mass displacement, Abu Rudeineh said, would be “tantamount to declaring a new war.”

The document proposes moving Gaza’s civilian population to tent cities in northern Sinai, then building permanent cities and an undefined humanitarian corridor. A security zone would be established inside Israel to block the displaced Palestinians from entering. The report did not say what would become of Gaza once its population is cleared out.



US Military Targets Houthi Radar Sites in Yemen

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
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US Military Targets Houthi Radar Sites in Yemen

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)

The United States military unleashed a wave of attacks targeting radar sites operated by Yemen's Houthi militants over their assaults on shipping in the crucial Red Sea corridor, authorities said Saturday, after one merchant sailor went missing following an earlier Houthi strike on a ship.
The attacks come as the US Navy faces the most intense combat it has seen since World War II in trying to counter the Houthi campaign — attacks the militants say are meant to halt the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.
However, the Iranian-backed group assaults often see the Houthis target ships and sailors who have nothing to do with the war while traffic remains halved through a corridor vital for cargo and energy shipments between Asia, Europe and the Mideast.
US strikes destroyed seven radars within Houthi-controlled territory, the military's Central Command said. It did not elaborate on how the sites were destroyed and did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.
“These radars allow the Houthis to target maritime vessels and endanger commercial shipping,” Central Command said in a statement.
The US separately destroyed two bomb-laden drone boats in the Red Sea, as well as a drone launched by the Houthis over the waterway, it said.
The Houthis, who have held Yemen's capital, Sanaa, since 2014, did not acknowledge the strikes, nor any military losses. That's been typical since the US began launching airstrikes targeting the group.
Meanwhile, Central Command said one commercial sailor from the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier Tutor remained missing after an attack Wednesday by the Houthis that used a bomb-carrying drone boat to strike the vessel.
“The crew abandoned ship and were rescued by USS Philippine Sea and partner forces,” Central Command said. The “Tutor remains in the Red Sea and is slowly taking on water.”
The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, killed three sailors, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the US Maritime Administration.
The war in the Gaza Strip has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians there, according to Gaza health officials, while hundreds of others have been killed in Israeli operations in the West Bank. It began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.
“The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third-country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza,” Central Command said. “The ongoing threat to international commerce caused by the Houthis in fact makes it harder to deliver badly needed assistance to the people of Yemen as well as Gaza.”