Ever heard of the saying, “two’s company, but two million is a crowd?” Well, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich seems to have taken it quite literally. In a suggestion that raised more than a few eyebrows, Smotrich proposed a solution to Gaza’s population woes that sounds like something straight out of a quirky strategy game. More on this below.
The majority of the Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza should be encouraged to emigrate to other countries, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said. Drastic measures are needed to ensure Israel’s security and avoid further incursions by Hama, he argued.
“What needs to be done in the Gaza Strip is to encourage emigration,” Smotrich, who is leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, told ARmy Radio on Sunday. “If there are 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs in Gaza and not 2 million Arabs, the entire discussion on the day after will be totally different.”
Smotrich suggested that the removal of Palestinian residents from Gaza would eliminate the danger posed by the territory to Israel, as the individuals living there under Hamas’ governance are cultivated with a desire to eradicate the Jewish state.
“Most of Israeli society will say ‘why not, it’s a nice place, let’s make the desert bloom, it doesn’t come at anyone’s expense,'” Smotrich said, as quoted by Reuters. He suggested that an international resettlement plan should be devised for the Palestinians who “have been forcibly held against their will in a ghetto for 75 years” and were raised on anti-Israeli propaganda.
Israel must have full control over Gaza-Egypt border– Netanyahu
Up to 1.9 million people– or more than 85% of Gaza’s population– have been displaced since the Israeli Army launched an assault in response to the deadly Hamas attack on October 7, according to the UN. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) first urged people to flee the northern part of the Palestinian enclave, and and eventually instructed those staying in the southern city of Khan Younis to relocate farther from the area of combat operations.
The Israeli govorment remains resistant to demands for an immediate cessation of hostilities, disregarding the UN’s dire predictions of a deepening humanitarian crisis in the besieged territory. Israeli authorities and military leaders place the blame for civilian casualties squarely on Hamas, alleging that the militant organization exploits civilians as human shields.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Saturday that “the war will continue for many months until Hamas is eliminated and the hostages are returned.”
Following a militant incursion into southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 individuals and the taking of over 200 hostages, Israel announced a state of war against Hamas and its affiliated groups. The conflict has resulted in a significant loss of life in Gaza, with over 21,600 Palestinians killed, according to figures released by the local Hamas-run government.
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