Egypt’s Sisi Refuses to Take in Palestinians: ‘Must Remain on Their Land’

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Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, reportedly speaking at a military graduation on Thursday, urged residents of Gaza to “remain on their land” rather than attempt to relocate away from the violence of the jihadist terror group Hamas and any potential retaliation from the Israeli government.

Sisi’s regime shut its border with Gaza on Tuesday after the Israeli government suggested that those seeking to flee Hamas should consider relocating to the fellow Muslim Arab country. While many Arabs and others in the Middle East enthusiastically support many of Hamas’s demands – primarily, the creation of a state of “Palestine” carved out of Israel – their governments have been hesitant to assist Palestinians in evacuating wartorn areas. Some Egyptians speaking to the Emirati newspaper The National this week complained that their country already has “enough” refugees and, while they support the eradication of Israel, they would prefer not to take the Palestinians into their country.

The government of Israel urged over 1 million people in northern Gaza to evacuate as soon as possible on Friday in anticipation of a military siege against Hamas targets. Hamas routinely uses Palestinians as human shields, building up weapons stockpiles and establishing operational headquarters in civilian areas, forcing the Israeli government to announce military operations in advance in an attempt to save Palestinian lives.

“Gaza city is an area where military activity takes place. This evacuation is for your personal safety,” Israeli military spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari announced in a statement posted to social media on Friday, telling locals the military “will continue to operate significantly in Gaza city in the coming days, and wishes to avoid harming civilians.”

Hamas showed no similar regard for civilians on Saturday when it launched a widespread terrorist assault specifically targeting civilian areas within Israel. The “al-Aqsa flood,” as the genocidal jihadists branded the attack, featured both rocket barrages into Israel and attacks on foot. Terrorists attacked residential communities door-to-door, killing anyone inside and filming themselves desecrating corpses. Dozens of the victims are believed to be infants and children. The terrorists also committed a mass slaughter at a music festival.

The attack came as Palestine waged a series of surprise attacks on Israel on Shemini Atzeret, the final day of the annual High Holy Day cycle. As of Friday, the death toll of the Hamas attacks stands at over 1,300.

Hamas has condemned the Israeli call to protect Palestinian civilians and is reportedly preventing them from leaving the theater of military operations.

In remarks on Thursday, Sisi expressed no sympathy for the Israeli victims of Hamas, but no interest in helping Palestinian victims of Hamas terror settle in his country, either. The strongman, who has led the country for about a decade, insisted that Egypt was open to refugees, just not Palestinians. His country, Sisi reportedly said, already had “nine million guests … from many countries who came to Egypt for security and safety.”

Gazans were “different,” the Agence-France Presse (AFP) quoted Sisi as saying, because their flight to safety would mean “the elimination of the [Palestinian] cause.”

“The matter is different as the [Palestinian] cause is the top cause of all Arabs and it is important that [Palestinian] people remain steadfast and present on their lands,” a more extended quote from Sisi published by Egypt Today read.

The Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, reporting on Sisi’s comments at the same event, quoted the president stating that any support for Palestinians could not come at the expense of Egyptian national security.

“There will be no compromise on Egypt’s national security under any circumstances, and the Egyptian people must be aware of the complexities of the situation and the magnitude of the threat,” Sisi reportedly said, reiterating support for the creation of a state of Palestine, a core demand of Hamas.

Asharq Al-Awsat cited unnamed Egyptian officials warning that any Israeli attempt to defend itself from Hamas and strike in Gaza could result in Egypt taking in Palestinian refugees, a situation they wished to avoid in the interest of “Egyptian sovereignty.”

The Rafah crossing, which connects Egypt to Gaza, has been closed to civilians fleeing since at least Tuesday, even though no large numbers of Palestinians appeared to be convening there trying to get into Egypt. That situation may change following Israel’s suggestion to depart Gaza. Following the closure of the border, Egyptian officials suggested using the crossing to send supplies into Gaza, but not to get people out.

“Egypt was keen to open the Rafah crossing to provide humanitarian aid, food and medicine, but instability and the expansion of the conflict leads to more hardship and more refugees to safe areas, including Europe,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

Egyptian citizens speaking to the National on Thursday expressed little interest in taking in Palestinians.

“Egypt has enough refugees living in it,” Noha El Sayed, an antiques dealer in Cairo, told the newspaper. “Just over the past 10 years or so, many Syrians came here to flee their war, then many thousands of Yemenis came when war broke out over there too. Then just this year, when war broke out in Sudan, the same happened and we allowed Sudanese refugees in.”

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