Israel Proposes Creating US-Funded Tent Cities to Evacuate Rafah

Under the proposal, Egypt would be responsible for setting up the camps along Gaza's coast

Israel has proposed creating US-funded tent cities in Gaza as part of an evacuation plan for Rafah as Israeli forces are preparing to invade the city, Egyptian officials told The Wall Street Journal.

It’s estimated that 1.5 million Palestinians are packed into Rafah, which had a pre-war population of about 275,000. Under the Israeli proposal, 15 campsites of around 25,000 tents each would be created along Gaza’s coast to house the millions of Palestinian civilians sheltering in Rafah.

The Egyptian officials said Egypt would be responsible for establishing the campsites and that the US and its Arab partners are expected to pay for the tent cities. When asked about the proposal, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel that several options were being discussed related to evacuating Rafah, none of which have been approved so far.

The UN has said it will “not be a party” to the further displacement of Palestinians or any evacuation plans from Rafah because there is nowhere safe for the Palestinians to go. Throughout the Israeli onslaught, Israeli forces have bombed and shot people in areas deemed “safe zones.”

A document prepared by Israel’s Intelligence Ministry that was leaked back in October said the best-case scenario for Israel would be to expel all 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza into Egypt, which borders Rafah. Israeli government ministers have not been shy about their desire to ethnically cleanse Gaza, but Egypt is holding firm on its position that it won’t allow an influx of refugees into its territory.

President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that he shouldn’t attack Rafah without a plan for the civilians, but the US is applying no real pressure as it continues to provide unconditional military aid. A few hours after the two leaders spoke, Israel unleashed heavy airstrikes on Rafah, killing around 100, as part of an operation where Israel said it rescued two Israeli hostages.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.