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Netanyahu wanted Egypt to give Palestinians parts of the Sinai: report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a conference at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.
AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner
The Israeli Prime Minister wanted to annex parts of the West Bank, get Egypt to cede some of its desert areas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu envisaged a peace plan whereby Egypt would give up swaths of Northern Sinai to the Palestinians, thus enabling Israel to annex "settlement blocks."

In a report by Israeli daily Haaretz, American officials are however quoted as calling the idea "a waste of time" and a "complete non-starter for the Palestinians."

The Sinai was occupied by Israel during the Six Days war, and then returned to Egypt following a peace agreement in 1979. Its land is desert and hence less suitable for agriculture than the West Bank.

Netanyahu reportedly brought up the plan repeatedly with Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry, but never gained much traction.

Egyptians dismissed the plan swiftly, according to American officials quoted in Haaretz, and Palestinians weren’t even informed as they were not expected to take any interest in the deal. The Prime Minister office denied the plans were ever designed.

In conversations recently published in “Fire and Fury, inside the Trump White House”, a book by Micheal Wolff, the President’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon envisaged a different solution to the conflict which also included Egypt.

“Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza. Let them deal with it. Or sink trying”, he allegedly said at a dinner. Gaza was part of Egypt until 1967, when Israel took it over alongside the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan heights.

Likewise, the West Bank has been part of Jordan until the Israeli military takeover. Since then, however, Palestinians have developed a strong sense of national belonging which makes these former arrangements hardly viable today.

The Trump administration is expected to come up with a peace plan soon, leading to speculations on what sort of arrangement it will propose.

Prominent in the White House Middle East policy-making is Jared Kushner, who is both the president’s adviser and son-in-law.

Comments

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The only thing the pal ask for is Judenrein.

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