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The New Arab

Egypt censored newspaper on Israel offers to 'buy Sinai'

Sinai has been infiltrated by militants [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 August, 2017

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Cairo has prevented a newspaper editor from running a story of Egypt's alleged plans to 'sell' the Sinai peninsular to Israel.

The Israeli government has allegedly been trying to buy parts of Sinai from the cash-strapped Cairo government, leading authorities to censor an Egyptian newspaper report on the offers.

Israel has reportedly made a number of "attractive offers" for the province, al-Masryoun reported, leading the military police to close the printing of the newspaper.

Egypt's constitution expressly forbids the establishment of a censorship office, but authorities reportedly refused the print run anyway.

According to the report, the Israeli government has offered to rehouse some Palestinians in the newly purchased region.

The Sinai is facing internal security problems due to attacks from armed jihadi militants linked to the Islamic State group.

This is not the first time the plan has surfaced in recent months. Israel's Minister of Communications Ayoub Kara reportedly discussed plans with Cairo to move Palestinians to the Sinai region in February.

"Trump and Netanyahu will adopt the plan of Egypt's [President Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi. A Palestinian state in Gaza and Sinai, instead of Judea and Samaria," said Kara.


The plan had been tabled before, but was always rejected outright - which would be extremely unpopular in neighbouring Arab states.

Israel previously occupied the Sinai peninsula from 1967 to 1982 and finally returned the land legally in 1989.

Since that withdrawal, the peninsula has experienced little development or financial assistance from Cairo, with little to no job creation.

The economic downturn has given rise to organised crime, as some local tribes in the peninsula turned to smuggling to make a living.

Since the 2011 revolution, which overthrew President Hosni Mubarak, the region has experienced increasingly violent uprisings, culminating in the ascent of the Islamic State group.

A series of attacks on Egypt's Coptic Christian population and other political targets have erupted.

The unrest has led Israel to reportedly coordinate military operations with Egyptian troops in the Sinai in recent years.

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