Head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh said on Sunday that Palestinians do not intend to leave their country nor intend to settle in Sinai.What are they talking about?
During his Eid sermon, Haniyeh said that the Palestinians will hold on to Gaza. “We will not settle in Sinai or anywhere East or West,” he said. “Gaza is an integral part of Palestine. No to an alternative homeland, migration or resettlement.”
Concerns that Gaza Palestinians would be resettled in Sinai to repopulate the deserted peninsula, which has housed pockets of radical militancy, have been coupled with both Egyptians and Palestinians repeatedly expressing their lack of interest in such a solution.
The answer can be seen in an Al Ahram article from a couple of days ago reported by Firas Press.
Ever since Egypt started allowing children of Egyptian mothers and Palestinian Arab fathers to become citizens, many Gazans have married Egyptian women and moved out of Gaza to live in new houses built, often, with profits from illegal smuggling tunnels.
This is alarming the residents of the Sinai, who are fearing a mini-invasion of their land by Gazans. They demanded that new laws be passed to ensure that the Sinai remain "Egyptian," raising fears that Egypt might allow Gaza to annex parts of the Sinai which would become an "alternative homeland" for Palestinian Arabs.
Despite all the rhetoric about how much solidarity Egyptians feel with Gazans, when it comes down to it they hate and fear Palestinian Arabs as much as every other Arab nation does. This Arab antipathy towards Palestinians is truly one of the most under-reported stories of the Middle East.