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Abbas: Palestinians were asked to annex parts of Sinai

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday revealed that Palestinians refused a plan to annex parts of Sinai to solve the issue of Palestinian refugees.

Speaking in a meeting of Fatah leaders in Ramallah, Abbas said: “The plan, which was proposed in 1956, included annexing 1,600 square kilometres from the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip in order to receive Palestinian refugees.”

He continued: “The plan is being proposed again, but we refused it.” He did not mention who had proposed the plan.

“Anyway, those who proposed the plan and those who accepted it passed away and this issue is absolutely unacceptable and the Palestinians will not accept it. Israel does not object to a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip without the West Bank and Jerusalem,” he added.

Regarding the state with temporary borders proposed in 2003, Abbas said: “Israel suggested isolating Gaza – leaving it out of discussions and for 40 to 60 per cent of the West Bank to be for Palestinians and the remaining to be discussed after 15 years.”

He continued: “Jerusalem and refugees issues to be delayed.”

Abbas stressed that he is sticking to a Palestinian state on all Palestinian lands occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Meanwhile, he said that if peace talks remain stagnant, the PA would join 522 international organisations, including Rome Convention, which paves the way to prosecuting Israel before the ICC.

Regarding the Israeli war on Gaza, Abbas said that he asked Egypt to mediate despite its disputes with Hamas. It introduced an initiative, which we adopted, he said, and if Hamas accepted it at the beginning, the number of casualties would have been far less than 2,140.


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