A leaked Israeli document indicated that Israeli leadership is considering moving all 2 million Palestinians from Gaza and into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula—as Israel played down the document as merely “initial thoughts” on the matter.
The Times of Israel, citing a report by Sicha Mekomit, reported that the document was dated 13 October and envisioned Palestinians being moved to a tent city in the northern reaches of Sinai. The idea would be to build a permanent city with a humanitarian corridor.
U.S. officials have been stressing to the Israelis that they must consider what they’re trying to achieve with the Gaza carpet-bombing campaign that has uprooted at least 1.1 million and killed over 9,000—mainly children.
The paper reported that Israel’s Intelligence Ministry’s document envisioned a “several-kilometer-wide ‘sterile’ buffer zone inside Egypt, to ensure the population cannot settle on Israel’s borders.”
The Middle East Monitor reported that the authors of the document anticipated international condemnation of the possible move, but said it could be billed to the public as a means of helping refugees flee war.
TRENDPOST: It is worth noting that forcing Gazans into the Sinai Peninsula is an act of ethnic cleansing by the Israelis, their forced displacement and making it a “settlement” is considered a war crime.
Exemplifying the hatred of the Palestinians and the willingness to do all they can to get what they want, Galit Distel Atbaryan, a member of the ruling Likud Party, said in a post on X, “A vengeful and cruel IDF is needed here.”
The Israel think tank, Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy, made the argument that the 7 October Hamas attack offered Israel a rare opportunity “to evacuate the whole Gaza Strip,” and put the Gazans in Cairo.
“The proposals are only the latest in a long history of Israeli plans to depopulate Gaza and resettle Palestinians in the Sinai,” the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said. The think tank noted that Israelis have long flirted with the idea, but, in this instance, the thought could be gaining traction.
Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, noted last month that the U.S. was working with Egypt to create a “humanitarian corridor” in the Sinai for Palestinians and, on 20 October, urged Congress to provide funding for “potential needs of Gazans fleeing to neighboring countries.”
The plan to stick Gazans in the desert was called a “thinking document” and Israel downplayed its seriousness.
Some Israeli officials have publicly called for Nakba 2.0, a reference to the displacement of about 700,000 Palestinians during Israel’s founding in 1948. Rashid Khalidi, a Middle East historian and author of “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine,” told NPR in 2021, “For Israelis and for most other people who know only the Israeli narrative, 1948 represents the miraculous establishment of a Jewish state in the wake of the Holocaust. For Palestinians, it represents the destruction of their society, the loss of self—the right to self-determination and the expulsion of most of them and the expropriation of the property of most of them.”
Israel is reportedly considering making Egypt an offer it can’t refuse.
Egypt is in an economic crisis and had to earmark 56.1 percent of revenue for the 2023-2024 fiscal year to service its debt. Middle East Eye is reporting that Israel is considering writing off “a significant chunk of Egypt’s international debts through the World Bank to entice the cash-strapped Abdel Fattah el-Sisi government to open its doors for displaced Palestinians.”
Sisi has said Egypt rejects “any attempt to liquidate the Palestinian issue by military means or through the forced displacement of Palestinians from their land, which would come at the expense of the countries of the region,” the report said.