Will Israel actively encourage migration of Gazans?

While there is no talk on forcible transfer and no official plan has been discussed, there appear to be two camps over how Israel should address this question, in view that refugees in a war zone should be allowed to travel to host countries if they want to.

 By  Mati Tuchfeld, ISRAEL HAYOM    Dec 4/23

Gazans move to the south on the humanitarian corridor during Operation Swords of Iron | Photo: Dana Ben-Shimon

When the ceasefire was in effect, the War Cabinet ministers made it clear time and again that this was just a temporary pause. In fact, all the government ministers said that. They made it clear not only to the citizens of Israel but also to world leaders, chiefly among them President Joe Biden.

October 7 was a seminal moment when an entire nation was humiliated and was dealt a painful blow. Even as Cabinet ministers instructed the IDF to cease fire, it was important for them to convey a united front and stress that the fire would resume after the pause. This was maintained even in closed-door security consultations in the larger and smaller versions of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet.

Nevertheless, despite the united front and consistent message, it is still possible to pick up nuances among the leaders of the war. Inevitably, the delicate cracks in the first act will eventually become a political clash in the final act of the play. There are already differing opinions on how to manage the war, but there are major divisions among the main protagonists over what the “day after” should look like.

The issue of the post-war reality is one of the most sensitive topics today, and discussions about it have not been taking place in any official forum; only in internal consultations. If there is a significant point of contention with the Biden administration regarding Gaza, it revolves around this question. Israel can accommodate the administration on various matters – such as providing humanitarian aid at the request of the American president and even the supply of fuel. It can also say that it is “doing its best” to heed the request not to harm the displaced population in the southern Gaza Strip when the IDF operates there.

However, to hand over the area to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is an entirely different ballgame. Ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot would gladly do this, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant are less enthusiastic.

They have all conveyed the message that Israel has no intention of governing the area’s civilian affairs after the war. Gallant means it seriously. Netanyahu doesn’t project the same certainty. He has made it clear in his statements that an authority supporting terrorism, paying salaries to terrorists, and inciting its children against Jews will not rule Gaza. This suggests that he will not allow the Abbas’ Ramallah henchmen into Gaza. There is no clear alternative. Hence, the IDF will continue to control the area, both security-wise and the civilian life, at least in the foreseeable future.

But another plan has been thrown into the mix. Most cabinet ministers are unaware of it, including the War Cabinet ministers. It is not discussed in these forums due to its combustible nature: k

This plan is designed to overcome American resistance without clashing with the administration, while addressing Egypt’s vehement opposition without starting a refugee crisis or having Egyptians fire on Gazans crossing into Sinai. It also aims to defuse the global outcry that will emerge once Gazans begin to move voluntarily to other places.

Having refugees in war zones is a given. Millions of refugees have left conflict zones around the world in the past decade, from Syria to Ukraine. They have found refuge in countries that agreed to accept them as a humanitarian gesture. So, why should Gaza be any different?

This is not about a forcible transfer but rather the release of the stranglehold at the Gaza border. Although the crossings into Israel would remain closed, there are other possibilities. Rafah is one of them, despite Egypt being very much against it. There have been periods in which this crossing was essentially open to all, with underground passages resembling an underground freeway. The sea is open to the Gazans as well. Israel has control over the maritime route and it can let that route become accessible should Gazans decide to flee to European and African countries.

But there are major gaps between the government ministers as to whether Israel should be actively encouraging Gazans to leave. For Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, as well as quite a few Likud ministers, such a policy is a necessity. Others, like Gantz, Gallant, and Eizenkot view things as nothing more than a fantasy or even a despicable and immoral plan.

December 6, 2023 | 6 Comments »

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  1. If we could find out who is financing all the invading refugees coming into America, we could let them move all the Gazans to The Squads home states.

    The Squad is an informal group of eight Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives. It was initially composed of four women elected in the 2018 United States House of Representatives elections: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. They have since been joined by Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri following the 2020 United States House of Representatives elections, and Greg Casar of Texas and Summer Lee of Pennsylvania following the 2022 elections. The Squad is well known for being among the most progressive and left-wing members of the United States Congress.

  2. @EvRe1 “People also ask
    What’s the most uninhabitable place on Earth?
    These Are 10 of the Most Extreme Locations on Earth
    Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression and its landscape, which consists of burning salt, volcanic rock, and sulfuric acid, is considered the most uninhabitable place on Earth. The Danakil Depression looks like it could be Mars.”

    Sounds like a winner to me. That or Antartica. Take your pick.

  3. @Irving@NWY, I think Jordan is the ULTIMATE and best solution, but as I understand it, the King is absolutely opposed to it. So the issue seems to be what to do with the Palestinians until such time as the King abdicates. I do not have any information regarding the conditions that would make his abdication more likely or a sure thing. Maybe others here have more information on this.

  4. I would be for Israelis rebuilding Gush Katif, the three northern Kibbutzim on land that Jews bought in the 1930s plus other Jewish settlement of Gaza.

    However only if most of the Gazans are allowed to emigrate elsewhere and find other homes. I would want Israel to annex Gaza.

    If Gaza is allowed to be run by Palestinians, I am against Israeli settlement as not being practical and problematic.

    There needs to be a consensus in Israel for it to be annexed. I would say it would need a referendum.

  5. The obvious but unlikely solution is moving them/giving them access to move to Jordan, funding the move with the help of the U.S. Jordan is Palestine! If India and Pakistan could do it, why not Israel and Jordan? We need resolve — and the guts to start talking about it publicly. There clearly would have to be something in it for the Hashemites — but let’s remember Queen Rania is Palestinian.

    Why has there not been even one mention of this option and these facts since before or after Oct. 7 in any article I’ve seen published?