Study for comprehensive plan to establish a ‘new Rafah’ underway

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The Specialized Council for Community Development will develop a study on the mechanism of establishing a new urban community for the people of Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula, presidential spokesman, Ambassador Alaa Youssef, announced on Wednesday.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ordered the council and concerned state institutions to present a comprehensive study on the integrated community within 15 days, added Youssef.

The council had met on Monday with community elders and leaders in Rafah and presented a report on the discussions.

According to the spokesman, the report proposed the establishment of an integrated, urban, and modern society in northern Sinai, taking into account the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of the people of Rafah.

The report said that Rafah residents had expressed their understanding of the state’s efforts in fighting terrorism, he added.

The move comes in the wake of a government decision to establish a ‘buffer zone’ along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip, which necessitated the evacuation of hundreds of Sinai residents within 500 metres of the border and the destruction of their homes.

Youssef said that Al-Sisi also ordered the state’s institutions to examine the implementation of compensating those affected by the relocation decision and compile a report. Al-Sisi further stressed the importance of sustained dialogue with the people of Sinai to advance the region’s development and stability.