Egypt: Do not set up camps for Palestinians

RAFAH/GAZA (dpa-AFX) – Egypt has rejected reports of the establishment of a camp to accommodate Palestinians. Cairo is against the expulsion of Palestinians and also against the voluntary departure from the Gaza Strip, said the head of the State Information Service (SIS), Diaa Raschwan. However, Egypt had built a buffer zone and fences in the coastal strip on its side of the border long before the start of the Israeli military operation, the statement continued on Friday evening.

Israel’s army is currently preparing an offensive on the town of Rafah, near the Egyptian border. Before the war began, around 300,000 people lived there. There are now around 1.3 million civilians there. Many were displaced by fighting.

The German Press Agency had previously learned from Egyptian security circles that the country was setting up a buffer zone near its border with the Gaza Strip to accommodate up to 100,000 Palestinians in buildings and tents. A wall should be built around the area. The work began about two months ago.

The London-based Sinai Foundation for Human Rights also reported on the establishment of such a buffer zone near the border. During the construction work, a cordoned-off area would be created to accommodate refugees, surrounded by a seven-meter-high wall. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday about Egypt’s plans to set up a huge reception camp for Palestinian refugees on the border with the Gaza Strip.

The government in Cairo is worried that large numbers of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip could flow across the border as a result of the Gaza war. Egypt is in a serious economic crisis.

Israel’s Defense Minister Joav Galant emphasized on Friday that his country does not intend to bring Palestinian civilians to Egypt./cir/DP/zb