Sisi offered Sinai parts to create Palestinian state: Reports

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi has offered the Palestinian Authority about 1,600 square kilometres of the Sinai peninsula to create a new state five times the size of the Gaza Strip, media reports said on Monday.

Cairo: Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi has offered the Palestinian Authority about 1,600 square kilometres of the Sinai peninsula to create a new state five times the size of the Gaza Strip, media reports said on Monday.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry was quick to dismiss the reports published in Israeli media, saying the initiative was actually made in the past by ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Sisi, too, denied such reports and said there is no Egyptian proposal to offer parts of the Sinai to Palestinians to create a new state.

"No one can do this (cede parts of the Sinai Peninsula for a Palestinian state)," he was quoted by Egypt's official MENA news agency as saying.

According to Israel's Army Radio, Sisi in his alleged proposal had offered 1,600 square kilometres of the Sinai Peninsula given to the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, creating a Palestinian state five times the size of the Gaza Strip.

Under the terms of the purported plans, the Palestinian Authority would be granted full autonomy in Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank.

In exchange, Abbas was asked to relinquish his demand that Israel retreat back to pre-1967 borders.

The report added that the Egyptian initiative received the US' go-ahead. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also informed.

According to the report, Sisi said to Abbas in the meeting: "You are now 80 years old, if you don't accept this proposal, your successor will."

An idea along the same lines was introduced years ago by Israeli academics but Egypt rejected the proposal.

Gaza is still recovering from a 50-day conflict which saw more than 2,100 Palestinians killed as well as 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians.  

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