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No move to shut out Palestinians from Sinai Peninsula, Egypt insists

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Egypt has again restated that at no time had it planned to displace fleeing Palestinians from the Senai Peninsula, stating however that it has a duty to take measures to protect its sovereignty and ensure national security.

Palestinian refugees are currently locked in the Gaza Strip, fleeing from Isreali offensive in their land.

But Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) said on Friday that all efforts are on to prevent humanitarian crisis while also ensuring that the country’s territory is not infringed upon.

There had been reports Egypt, as a precautionary measure, is preparing an area at the Gaza border which could accommodate Palestinians in case an Israeli offensive into Rafah prompts an exodus across the frontier.

The speculation drew wide coverage, even being reported by the highly authoritative Wall Street Journal.

“Egypt’s decisive stance since the beginning of the aggression … is to completely reject any forced or voluntary displacement of Palestinian brothers from the Gaza Strip to outside it, especially to Egyptian territory,” Diaa Rashwan, the SIS head, said in a statement.

He said such scenario would entail “a definite liquidation of the Palestinian cause and a direct threat to Egyptian sovereignty and national security,” he said to a major news outlet

Earlier on Monday, Sinai Foundation for Human Rights, an activist organisation, published images it believes showed construction trucks and cranes working in the area and images of concrete barriers along the border.

“Egypt has already had a buffer zone and barriers in this area for a long time before the current crisis erupted. These are measures taken by any country in the world to preserve the security of its borders and its sovereignty over its territories,” Rahswan added.

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