Egyptian political analysts have warned against inherent Israeli support for the Palestinians of Gaza to head towards the Egyptian border and seek refuge in Sinai, Egypt’s north-eastern territory which shares borders with the Gaza Strip.
This encouragement, they said, is a small detail in the larger picture of what they described as the ‘elusive’ media campaign launched by some western and Israeli media outlets to draw Egypt into the heart of the conflict.
“This is why Egypt has to deliver a very clear message about the sacred nature of its borders and territories,” Mohamed Maree, a researcher at local think tank, Egyptian Centre for Strategic Studies, told The Egyptian Gazette.
“Egypt stands against any systematic or unsystematic plans to push the Palestinians of Gaza into Sinai,” he added.
Gaza has been reeling under continual Israeli aerial bombardment since Saturday, an offensive which came hard on the heels of an all-out attack by armed factions in the coastal Palestinian enclave on settlements in southern Israel.
The attacks by Gaza’s factions left hundreds of Israelis dead and over 2,500 others injured.
The Palestinian attackers also took over 100 Israelis, including army soldiers and officers, hostage and drove them back to Gaza, apparently in preparation for using them as pressure cards against Tel Aviv in any future settlement.
Fears from a stampede of Gaza’s residents at the Egyptian border emerged after some Israeli officials, including senior army officers, encouraged the inhabitants of the blockaded territory to head towards Egypt.
Soon after Israel started striking Gaza by air, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also asked the residents of the Palestinian territory to leave.
Israeli airstrikes have so far left massive devastation in Gaza and over 7,000 people dead. They are also causing Gaza’s health facilities to be overwhelmed with injured and dead victims.
The prospect of Gazans heading towards the Egyptian border is not far-fetched, especially with Israel tightening its siege on this territory and striking it from air and the sea.
Some Egyptian sources have already warned against this scenario, underlining the sanctified nature of Egyptian borders.
“Egyptian borders are not something to be messed with,” an Egyptian official source was quoted by some media outlets as saying.
Mohamed Abdel Razek, a researcher in the same centre, referred to an old Israeli-American plan to liquidate the Palestinian cause by transferring Gaza’s residents to Egypt’s Sinai.
“Israel wants to shirk its legal responsibility for the Gaza Strip in its capacity as an occupying force by doing this,” Abdel Razek told The Gazette.
“However, to everybody I want to say: there will never be an end to violence in the region without the two-state solution and giving the Palestinians their legitimate rights,” he added.