Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich calls the decision a “good humanitarian solution.” Critics speak of “ethnic cleansing”.
Far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians to Gaza was the “right humanitarian solution” for the besieged enclave and the region, a position Palestinian officials have compared to support for “ethnic cleansing”.
Smotrich’s comments come after U.S. lawmakers Danny Danon, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, and Ram Ben-Barak, former deputy director of the Mossad intelligence agency, published an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday suggesting moving part of the population of Gaza. to the nations that will accept them.
“I welcome the initiative of Knesset members Ram Ben-Barak and Danny Danon on the voluntary immigration of Arabs from Gaza to countries around the world. This is the right humanitarian solution for the people of Gaza and the entire region,” Smotrich wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
“A cell with a small area like the Gaza Strip, without natural resources and independent livelihoods, has no chance of existing independently, economically and politically, in such a high density for a long period of time.
“The reception of refugees by countries around the world that truly want their best interests, with the support and generous financial assistance of the international community, and within the State of Israel, is the only solution that will end to suffering and suffering. pain of Jews and Arabs.
“The State of Israel will no longer be able to support the existence of an independent entity in Gaza,” he added.
In response to his comments, Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said in a post on X that the minister “revealed the true policy and intentions of the Israeli government.”
“Netanyahu himself declared at the start of the Israeli war on Gaza that all Gazans must evict their homes. Ethnic cleansing is a war crime and involves bombing an unprotected civilian population.
Smotrich revealed the true policies and intentions of the Israeli government. Netanyahu himself declared at the start of Israel’s war on Gaza that all Gazans must evict their homes. Ethnic cleansing is a war crime and involves the bombing of an unprotected civilian population.
– Mustafa Barghouti @Mustafa_Barghouti (@MustafaBarghouti1) November 14, 2023
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly already lobbied European leaders to help him convince the Egyptian president to welcome refugees from Gaza. The Israeli Ministry of Intelligence had also presented a proposal to “evacuate” all Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt.
In March, Smotrich received backlash after he said the Palestinian people were “an invention” of the last century, with Palestinian officials calling his comments proof of the “racist” view of Israel’s far-right government.
In their article on Monday, Danon and Ben-Barak said Europe has a long history of helping refugees fleeing conflict and, based on this example, “countries around the world should offer refuge to residents of Gaza seeking resettlement.”
“Countries can achieve this by creating well-structured and internationally coordinated resettlement programs,” they write.
A majority of Palestinians were expelled from their homeland in 1948 during the creation of the state of Israel – an event they call the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”
Most people in Gaza today are the children or grandchildren of those displaced during the Nakba. They now risk being permanently uprooted again, which constitutes a war crime under international law.