Israeli Intelligence, Think Tank Lay Out Plans for Ethnically Cleansing Gaza
by Robert Inlakesh
On the first day of Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, offered a provocative warning to some 2.3 million civilians in the besieged coastal enclave: “Leave now”, he said, knowing that the people were trapped and could not.
However, as time goes on and documents are leaked, there appears to be a real push from within the Israeli regime to ethnically cleanse the people of Gaza into the Sinai desert of Egypt. The Israeli think tank, the ‘Misgav Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy’ published a position paper on October 17, in which they outlined their proposed ethnic cleansing plan, declaring that “there is at the moment a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the whole Gaza Strip in coordination with the Egyptian government.”
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This was then followed, shortly after, by a report released on Israeli news outlet, Calcalist, which outlined a document proposing the same strategy. In this case, however, the document bore the official symbol of the Israeli Intelligence Ministry, headed by Gila Gamliel. Both plans, which advocate the same plot to ethnically cleanse Gaza of its Palestinian civilian population, blatantly seek to take advantage of the situation at hand in order to create a ‘solution’ to Israel’s ‘Gaza problem’.
The idea is to provide Egypt with an economic incentive – even if that has to be 20 to 30 billion dollars according to the think tank paper – in order to have them submit to accepting the displaced people.
There is also a fitted-in element, which is highlighted in the Israeli Intelligence Ministry’s plan, which talks about setting up a security/buffer zone inside Egyptian territory, “several kilometers wide”; effectively proposing a de facto occupation of Egypt’s land for the sole purpose of preventing Gaza’s people from returning to their homes.
From day one of Israel’s brutal war on the people of Gaza, the plan has been made clear through the actions of the regime in Tel Aviv. Israel’s leadership has stated that they seek to destroy Hamas, while announcing plans and enacting them in a way that almost solely targets the Palestinian civilian population inside Gaza.
On October 9, the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” he said, adding: “We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”
For years, there has been talk from within Israeli circles of power, about forcing the people of Gaza into the Egyptian Sinai as a solution, with this proposal dating back to a similar strategy, that was proposed by the United Nations in the 1950’s, when Gaza was under the rule of Egyptian President, Gamal Abdul Nasser.
The UN proposal was sharply opposed and the whole idea fell apart following robust protests against it. Yet, for the Israeli government, which is at a loss for what to do with the Gaza Strip, this idea seems to be more tempting than ever.
If we read between the lines, it is clear that the Israeli government has, from day one, sought to block medical supplies, food, water, fuel, electricity, and other key humanitarian aid items from entering Gaza.
It has also flattened some of the wealthiest areas and most popular destinations inside the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to completely destroy the territory’s civilian infrastructure. Along with this, the sheer scale of the atrocities that are being committed against civilians is on par with any major war we have seen in the past decades, if not worse in some regards.
If you were a government attempting to force 2.3 million people to flee their homes, this would be the strategy to employ in order to scare them into submission.
However, there are a few major problems for the Israeli regime, the first and most obvious being the fact that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has staunchly opposed the idea of absorbing so many Palestinian refugees into tent cities in the Sinai.
The second biggest issue for the Israelis is the fact that in the event that such a push occurs, Lebanese Hezbollah would almost certainly launch a war on it from the north.
While Israeli politicians continue to use genocidal language and speak of completely wiping Gaza off of the map, the reality on the ground is something rather different.
Israel is no longer in the position it was back in 1948, where its crimes could be concealed and it was so much more powerful militarily than its Arab neighbors. Despite the tough rhetoric and its continuation of the slaughter of Gaza’s civilian population, the Israeli army is in its weakest position ever.[In a separate report, Palestinian resistance fighters repelled an amphibious raid into Gaza by Israeli military forces. In a statement, Al-Qassam Brigades said that its fighters discovered a landing attempt that took place at dawn today, Friday, and clashed with the Israeli forces. The resistance on the ground “necessitated the intervention of the Israeli Air Force, which saved the (Israeli) force (on the ground), so it fled towards the sea, leaving behind a quantity of ammunition.” Al-Qassam’s statement comes shortly after the Israeli military announced that it had made a “new incursion” into the Gaza Strip last night. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said joint Israeli military forces carried out a raid inside Gaza, without giving much verifiable details.]
– Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He focuses on the Middle East, specializing in Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.