Study: Allow Gaza population to expand into Sinai

Palestinian study recommends solving “population explosion” by transferring residents to West Bank, setting birth control rules.

Gaza gallery 10 (photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
Gaza gallery 10
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
A study published Monday by a Palestinian engineer recommends solving the Gaza Strip’s “population explosion” by allowing the enclave to expand into the Sinai Peninsula.
The study also recommends transferring some of the Gaza Strip’s residents to the West Bank and setting rules for birth control as a way of solving the problem.
The study was prepared by engineer Mustafa al-Farra and published in the daily Al- Quds newspaper.
He also suggested vertical construction and filling parts of the sea as possible methods to solve the problems facing the residents of the Gaza Strip.
In his study, Farra talked about the possibility of leasing lands in from the Egyptians for 99 years. He noted that while the talk about leasing lands from Egypt sounded “strange” to some, it was nevertheless possible as precedents have already been created in other parts of the world.
Farra mentioned Hong Kong as an example, pointing out that it had been leased to Britain for a similar period of time. Another example was Guantanamo Bay, which the US leased from Cuba, he added.
The study said that while the West Bank is 15 times bigger than the Gaza Strip, the population in the Gaza Strip was nine times larger than that of the West Bank.
Unconfirmed reports published in a number of Egyptian newspapers recently claimed that Hamas has been planning to settle Palestinians in Sinai and declare a Palestinian state there. Many Egyptians have strongly come out against the alleged plan, calling on their government to prevent Palestinians from moving to Sinai.
Writing in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Weekly last October, columnist Ahmad Naguib Roushdy said: “Even if they are only rumors, these rumors have roots in Egypt’s history. Every Egyptian sympathizes with the Palestinian cause, and much Egyptian blood has been shed in defense of it.
But if these rumors are true, the Palestinians have shown themselves to be ungrateful and could be considered to be Egypt’s enemies.
“The Egyptian government should force any Palestinians in Sinai now to return to where they came from,” he wrote. “I believe that the [Egyptian] revolution did not only aspire to freedom and dignity, but also to the idea that Egypt is for all Egyptians.
We are not leaves to be blown about in foreign winds.”