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Israeli minister who called for Palestinian homeland in Sinai visits Egypt

Social Equality Minister in Israel, Gila Gamliel [Sapir Academic College/Wikipedia]

An Israeli minister who has called for an alternative Palestinian state to be established in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula visited Cairo on Sunday. According to Israel's Walla news website, "Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel will represent her country at a regional conference organised by the EU and Egyptian government to promote the role of women and support gender equality." The conference will also be attended by envoys from Jordan, it added.

Earlier this month, Likud member Gamliel insisted that while her proposal may be unacceptable to the international community and to the Arab countries neighbouring Israel, it stems from Israel's "historical right" in the land of Israel. "A Palestinian State is a dangerous idea for the State of Israel," she explained. "Between the River Jordan and the [Mediterranean] sea there cannot, and must not, arise a Palestinian state."

From her point of view, added Gamliel, the most realistic alternative, and the only one under the existing circumstances, is Palestinian autonomy in "Judea and Samaria" (the occupied West Bank). "However, if it becomes clear that there is no alternative but to establish an actual Palestinian state, then this would be a regional problem, not just for Israel. Accordingly, it is appropriate that parts of the Arab countries, such as the Sinai Peninsula, should be considered."

In June, the minister participated in a conference on the Greek island of Rhodes, sponsored by the Libyan government to normalise relations between Libyan Jews and Arab countries. According to the organisers, the conference was intended to open a new chapter in relations between Israel and the Arab countries, in parallel with recent developments in the region.

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