Israel Controls 26% of Gaza, Potentially Paving the Way for Jewish Settlements

The Israeli military has demolished all structures along the border with Israel and in the Netzarim corridor

The Israeli military has taken control of 26% of the Gaza Strip and is building bases and paving roads in the areas to ensure long-term occupation, which could lead to Jewish settlements, Haaretz reported on Monday.

Israel established a “buffer zone” along the Israel-Gaza border by demolishing buildings and agricultural land. The zone cuts into about 1 kilometer along Gaza’s entire border with Israel and accounts for about 16% of the Strip’s territory.

Israel has also taken control of the Philadelphi Corridor, which runs along the Egypt-Gaza border, and demolished buildings in the Netzarim Corridor, a 38 kilometer square area that separates northern Gaza from the rest of the Strip.

The Israeli military has built bases in the corridor and is using the Turkish hospital, which was Gaza’s only cancer treatment hospital, as another base. The US-built pier is also located in the Netzarim Corridor. Haaretz reported that Graffiti written in Hebrew near the pier reads, “Without settlement, there’s no victory.”

An Israeli settlement called Netzarim used to be located where the Turkish hospital was built. All Israeli settlements in Gaza were evacuated by 2005 as part of a policy known as the “disengagement.”

According to Haaretz, the Netzarim settlement was part of an Israeli government plan to bisect Gaza and strengthen Israeli control by means of civilian settlements. Today, Israeli soldiers in Gaza are taking symbolic steps to show their support for re-establishing Jewish settlements in the territory.

One video in the Haaretz report shows a uniformed Israeli soldier placing a menora in a building near the Turkish hospital. The menora was said to be the same one that was removed from a synagogue in the Netzarim settlement before it was evacuated.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied establishing Jewish settlements in Gaza was one of his goals, but members of his coalition government and Likud party openly support the idea, as well as the expulsion of Palestinians.

“In order to preserve the security achievements that our soldiers lost their lives for, we must resettle Gaza with security forces and settlers that will embrace the land with love,” Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, a member of the Likud party, said at a pro-settlement march in May.

At the same march, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of the Jewish Power party, called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza. “We must return to Gaza now! We are coming home to the Holy Land!” he said. “And second, we must encourage emigration. Encourage the voluntary emigration of the residents of Gaza. It is moral!”

In October 2023, a document prepared by Israel’s Intelligence Ministry that was leaked to the media said the best post-war scenario for Israel would be the expulsion of all 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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