Hanegbi: Israel recognizes Egypt’s reluctance to take refugees, hopes it’ll treat wounded

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Asked whether Israel wants Egypt to take in refugees for Gaza, National Security Council chairman Tzachi Hanegbi says Israel recognizes Cario’s fear that displaced Palestinians will try and rush the border if it is opened.

Hanegbi notes Israel’s longstanding ties with Egypt and expresses hope that Cairo will open its border in order to allow the injured to be treated in the Rafah hospital along with field hospitals that can be established on Egypt’s side of the border.

“There are many things that Egypt can help those uninvolved citizens. This is our mutual interest,” Hanegbi says.

Egypt has thus far refrained from allowing Gazan civilians to exit through its border, restricting passage to humanitarian aid entering Gaza through the Rafah crossing.

Israeli proposals for Egypt to take in refugees from Gaza have infuriated Cairo, particularly because Jerusalem has refused to publicly promise that those who leave the Strip will be allowed to return, an Egyptian official told The Times of Israel last week.

Hanegbi also says a number of countries have heeded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to send ships that will dock off the coast of Gaza and serve as hospitals in the small southwest area of the Strip that Israel has designated as a safe zone.

The national security adviser urges the wounded to be treated in safe zones or in Egypt and not other hospitals inside Gaza under which Israel says Hamas has established command centers.

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