Global Impact: President al-Sisi Offered Mahmoud Abbas 5X Size of Gaza in Sinai, Abbas Declined
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and former Field Marshal of the Egyptian Army reportedly offered Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas a Palestinian State in Egypt’s Sinai which would be five times larger than anything Israel could offer.
The International Business Times reported today that even though he was offered 1,600 square kilometers in the Sinai by al-Sisi, Abbas refused, proving that the Palestinians' plight, which he represents, are more interested in replacing Israel rather than enjoying a war-free state that would not require reconstruction.
As part of the offer to the Palestinians, Abbas would relinquish their demands that Israel return to the 1967 borders and would, of course, be totally demilitarized.
Also as part of the deal Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria would have been autonomous and continued to be under Palestinian Authority control.
In the meeting between al-Sisi and Abbas, the former is reported to have said to his counterpart, “You are now 80 years old, if you don’t accept this proposal, your successor will.”
The Egyptian proposal comes at a time when Abbas is conflicted with Hamas, whom he shares a unity administration with:
We cannot continue working with Hamas this way. There are 27 undersecretaries of ministries who are running the Gaza Strip, and the national unity government cannot do anything on the ground. We won’t accept the continuation of the situation with Hamas as it is now and in this shape. There must be one authority and one regime.
The fact that Palestinian refugees would be repatriated to the new and spacious independent state as part of the agreement was even more of a sweetener but Abbas, nevertheless, rejected.
COMMENT: A state like the one proposed to the Palestinians would offer them a much better chance of building a vibrant and peaceful society, without fear of being used as human shields by Hamas who run the Gaza Strip, or fear of being beaten or imprisoned for not adhering to the latest extremist Hamas law, such as alleged adultery and stealing punishments.
It seems a shame that the Palestinian people, represented by Abbas, don’t seize this opportunity to get themselves a [war-free] state once and for all, something they have been fighting for for over 60 years.
In the meeting between al-Sisi and Abbas, the former is reported to have said to his counterpart, “You are now 80 years old, if you don’t accept this proposal, your successor will.”Middle East Monitorreported that according to Israeli radio,Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows about the offer and the U.S. has also given their blessing to the initiative.Hopefully, Abbas will consider the options and accept the offer, which would finally offer the Palestinian people a large and war-free space to build the state they have dreamt of for so long.
I retired from the US State Department in April 2006, after a career as a special agent, Senior Regional Security Officer (SRSO), director of training, chief investigator of the Cyprus Missing Persons Program, director of security of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and as a senior adviser in the Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance.
My book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD was published in May 2008.
A complete update of STAYING SAFE ABROAD 2015, will be release during early 2015 for the iPad, Kindle and Nook and other e-readers.
I am a former Federal Firearms Dealer (US), a certified NRA pistol instructor and a certified NRA Range Safety Officer.
My career has also included 15 years as an international security consultant; for ten years I served as the security adviser to the Inter-American Development Bank.
I additionally, served six years in the Marines, which included combat service in Vietnam.
I am available for operational assignments, lecturing opportunities and in providing security solutions anywhere in the world.