Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel proposed the “voluntary resettlement” of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to other countries around the world in an op-ed for The Jerusalem Post published Sunday.
Gamliel said one option for Gaza’s future is to “promote the voluntary resettlement of Palestinians in Gaza, for humanitarian reasons, outside of the Strip.” She called for the “international community” to foot the bill for relocating Palestinians instead of funding the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
“Instead of funneling money to rebuild Gaza or to the failed UNRWA, the international community can assist in the costs of resettlement, helping the people of Gaza build new lives in their new host countries,” wrote Gamliel, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.
Gamliel said she proposed a similar solution earlier in the war and noted it was gaining popularity among Israeli lawmakers. “I am gratified to hear that Members of Knesset from across the political spectrum, including both the coalition and opposition, have joined my Ministry’s initiative and declared their support for it,” she said.
Earlier this month, two members of the Israeli Knesset wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal calling for Western countries to accept Palestinian refugees. The op-ed was coauthored by a member of Likud and a member of Yesh Atid, the main opposition party led by former Prime Minister Yair Lapid. The idea has also gained support from Bezalel Smotrich, an extremist settler who leads the Religious Zionist party and is Israel’s finance minister.
Last month, a leaked document drafted by Gamliel’s Intelligence Ministry proposed pushing all 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza into Egypt, making clear the Netanyahu government is considering the complete ethnic cleansing of the Strip. But Egypt has refused to take in any Palestinian refugees, making Israeli officials seek other alternatives, such as Gazans being absorbed by the West.