Netanyahu, Israeli finance minister calls for ‘voluntary migration’ of Gazans

Israeli minister calls for 'voluntary migration' of Gazans
Israeli minister calls for 'voluntary migration' of Gazans

Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday called for encouraging the “voluntary emigration” of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

At least 21,88 Palestinians killed in relentless Israeli attacks since Oct. 7, according to local health authorities.


“We need to encourage immigration from there. If there were 100,000-200,000 Arabs in the Strip and not two million, the whole conversation about the day after [the war] would be completely different,” Smotrich told Israeli Army Radio.

“They want to leave. They have been living in a ghetto for 75 years and are in need,” added Smotrich, leader of the far-right Religious Zionism Party.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip from the air and ground since the Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, killing at least 21,822 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 56,451 others, according to health authorities in the enclave.

Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine.

It was earlier reported that, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to form a team to look into the deportation of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, according to a Likud MK.

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This announcement was made during a Likud meeting two days ago in response to a call by MK Danny Danon who is chairman of World Likud and former Israeli Ambassador to the UN.

The deportation of Palestinians is becoming more popular among the Israeli right-wing parties and to make it more acceptable they suggest that it is a “voluntary migration”.

Several Israeli plans have been made public, discussing the deportation of Gazans to Egypt. One was prepared by the Ministry of Intelligence and the second by the Psagot Institute.

Likud Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel published an article last month on this matter in The Jerusalem Post. The Israeli Embassy in Washington had to state that the article doesn’t represent the government.

Meanwhile, this suggestion sparked anger in Egypt and Jordan and the Arab countries took a unified stance against it.

The US Administration responded to Arab demands and announced absolute rejection of deportation of Palestinians.

Danon revealed that he has been contacted by “countries in Latin America and Africa that are willing to take refugees from the Gaza Strip.”

Danon termed this solution as “very humanitarian”.

According to the MK, this is “voluntary migration of Palestinians who wish to leave.”

“It happens in every war, look at what’s happening in Syria – one and a half million went to Jordan, three million went to Türkiye and another few million went to Europe,” Danon added.

“I think the Arab states have a duty to help the Palestinians. They should have the decency to help instead of making inflammatory speeches,” he added.
Danon said that a couple of weeks ago MK Ram Ben-Barak published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in the same spirit.


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