April 19, 2019 / 6:55 PM / 5 months ago

U.S. Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt's Sinai: envoy

FILE PHOTO: Jason Greenblatt (C), U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, arrives to visit Kibbutz Nahal Oz, just outside the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!”, Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.

The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.

Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.

It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.

The Palestinians have long sought to set up a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The last round of U.S.-broke‮‮re‬‬d peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.

Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Frances Kerry

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