Do Israelis plan to expel Gazans to Sinai?
Israel's Intelligence Ministry outlined three alternatives in a paper aimed at changing the civilian situation in Gaza after Tel Aviv initiated its relentless bombardment of this Palestinian territory.
government ministry has drafted a wartime proposal to transfer 2.3 million
Palestinians in Gaza to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, drawing condemnation from
Palestine and worsening tensions with Cairo.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office played down the report compiled by the
Intelligence Ministry as a hypothetical exercise — a “concept paper.”
conclusions deepened long-standing Egyptian concerns that Israel wants to make
Gaza into Egypt's problem, and revived for Palestinians memories of their
greatest trauma — the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of people who fled or
were forced from their homes during the fighting surrounding Israel's creation
against transfer to any place, in any form, and we consider it a red line that
we will not allow to be crossed," Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said of the report. “What happened in 1948
will not be allowed to happen again."
displacement, Abu Rudeineh said, would be “tantamount to declaring a new war.”
So far more than 8,000 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, have
been killed since Israel initiated a full-scale offensive in Gaza since Hamas'
October 7 attack on Israel.
is dated October 13 and it was first published by Sicha Mekomit, a local news
site. In its report, the Intelligence Ministry — a junior ministry that
conducts research but does not set policy — offered three alternatives.
proposes moving Palestinian population in Gaza to tent cities in northern Sinai
of Egypt, then building permanent cities and an undefined humanitarian
zone would be established inside Israel to block the displaced Palestinians
from entering. The report did not say what would become of Gaza once its
population is cleared out.
Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the
report. But Egypt has made clear throughout this latest conflict that it is
completely against the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.
long concerned that Israel wants to force a permanent expulsion of Palestinians
into its territory, as happened during the war surrounding Israel's establishment.
Gaza between 1948 and 1967, when Israel occupied the territory, along with the
West Bank and East al-Quds. The majority of Gaza's population consists of
grandchildren of Palestinian refugees who fled the Israeli occupation.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said that the mass refugee influx from Gaza
would replace the Palestinian cause and warned that this move would harm the