OPINIONS

Tue 05 Dec 2023 12:39 pm - Jerusalem Time

Stop the war of genocide... stop the displacement

On the first day of the aggression, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on all residents of the Gaza Strip to leave their cities, towns and camps outside the Strip in order to preserve their lives. On the second day, Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the occupation army, asked Palestinian citizens to go to Sinai. The Biden administration and countries from the European Union joined Israeli efforts to push the Egyptian government to open its borders and allow the establishment of refugee camps in Sinai. In this context, Israeli papers presented a set of options to get rid of the residents of the Gaza Strip under the pretext of preserving their safety, including: transferring the residents of the Gaza Strip to North Sinai with American-European support and Gulf Arab funding. This option includes establishing tent cities in North Sinai as a first stage, and building cities in The second stage is the displacement of some to Arab and European countries, in exchange for providing financial aid to the collapsed Egyptian economy.[1]


Knesset members Danny Danon (Likud) and Ben Barak (There is a Future) also presented a plan that would enable the mass transfer of refugees from the Gaza Strip to countries that agree to absorb them. The plan quickly gained the support of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.[2] There is a new proposal circulating in the corridors of the US Congress linking US aid to Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Yemen to these countries’ approval to settle the people of the Gaza Strip on their lands. The current project includes sending one million Palestinians to Egypt, half a million to Turkey, 250,000 to Iraq, and 250,000 to Yemen.[3] European presidents have previously offered the leadership of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to agree to transfer the largest number of citizens of the Gaza Strip on ships, and provide them with protection at sea, provided that they are returned after the end of the battle. All of these things indicate that the project of displacing citizens from the Gaza Strip abroad was and is still on the Israeli agenda and the countries supporting it, even if it has changed from the form of forced displacement to voluntary displacement, despite the clear and declared rejection of the states of Egypt and Jordan, in addition to the Palestinian rejection. As a result of Palestinian and Arab rejection, the momentum of the countries that agreed to displacement declined with the beginning of the aggression, and this decline came based on what were called the Tokyo Principles, the first clause of which stipulates: “No forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, neither now nor after the war.”[4] But this clause did not exist. He does not talk about voluntary displacement, which in reality is based on destroying the basics of survival, and opening an option that people, individuals and families, will respond to as a refuge out of the midst of destruction that has destroyed the basics of normal life. Can Israel get rid of the Palestinians or large parts of them in this war under the name of Israel’s right to eliminate the security threat and existential danger coming from the Gaza Strip?


Displacement root


Theodor Hirzl wrote in 1895: “The country that has been given to us must be taken gradually out of the hands of its owners. We will try to move the poor population without noise beyond the borders while securing work for them. But in our own country we must prevent them from any work.”[5] He meant The country given by God, according to the biblical text, and later granted by the colonial powers through the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, which considered Palestine a special homeland for the Jews that must be helped to achieve it. After that, the Zionist movement raised the slogan “A land without a people for a people without a land,” a slogan that ignores the existence of a people in form, but works to get rid of it in content.


In the 1920s and 1930s, Zionist thinkers, such as Israel Zangwill and Yaakov Tahun, also put forward proposals to transfer Palestinian Arabs to Transjordan. The most dangerous chapter in the displacement projects was the ethnic cleansing inside and outside Palestine in the period 1947-1949, accompanied by the destruction of hundreds of people. Villages and converting Palestinian cities into Israeli cities, with the exception of the city of Nazareth. [6] After the 1967 war, the Israeli government formed a secret committee to displace the Arabs of Gaza to Jordan and South America in exchange for money and facilities. In the 1980s, Meir Kahane proposed the idea of transfer, which was quickly adopted by Rehavam Ze'evi. He built a party for voluntary transfer on its basis, and became a member of the Knesset, then a minister in the Israeli government. Now, after half of Gaza's homes have been destroyed, serious thinking about transfer has begun.[7]


Internal transfer


Displacement is based on thought, policies, laws, programs, and educational curricula, and the two most important elements are the Nationality Law and the program of the Netanyahu-Ben Gvir-Smotrich government. The Nationality Law stipulates that the “Land of Israel,” meaning historic Palestine, is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established, and the exercise of the right to self-determination in the State of Israel is exclusive to the Jewish people.[8] It is noted here that the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in their historic homeland, according to international definition, is denied, and this establishes a legal basis for the continuation of ethnic cleansing and displacement. As for the program of the Netanyahu-Ben Gvir government, it stated: “The Jewish public has an exclusive and indisputable right in all areas of the Land of Israel,” and the government will work to promote and develop settlement throughout the Land of Israel. In the Galilee, the Negev, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan, this means the absence of Palestinian rights, their cancellation, and the delegitimization of their presence on land owned exclusively by the State of Israel.

During the era of the Netanyahu government and other governments, a policy is being followed of preventing the construction of housing units and schools in areas that have been annexed, such as Jerusalem and its surroundings, and in areas that Israel seeks to annex, such as the Jordan Valley and Mount Hebron. The target of this is a Palestinian society that is developing demographically at high rates, including preventing the construction of Schools, institutions, cultural and sports centers, and farms, which prompts citizens to search for housing and schools outside the city of Jerusalem and the targeted areas. The authorities are keen to infiltrate residential areas with settlement outposts that expel the Palestinian presence through Israeli control of homes by force, or by falsifying their ownership, or converting the lands of Bedouin communities into closed military zones. Also, confiscation and demolition procedures and curbing the development of civil society lead to population displacements outside Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. And Mount Hebron, where citizens move to the vicinity of Jerusalem - Al-Ram Qalandiya and Kafr Aqab, all the way to Rawabi northwest of Ramallah, and in the vicinity of the Old City in the city of Hebron, and thus the new areas become densely populated, and their infrastructure becomes unable to accommodate the increases. This is a form of transfer or internal displacement, and it is one of the most dangerous outcomes of the colonial apartheid system.


The most dangerous episode is the displacement of the Gaza Strip

By Muhannad Abdel Hamid

In the first round of the genocide war, thousands of citizens were killed, about 20,000 were dead or missing, and about twice that number were injured, and 45% of the infrastructure was destroyed, which included homes, shops, farms, markets, factories, bakeries, mosques, hospitals, schools, universities, communications, and the media. 

This destruction was accompanied by a ban on the arrival of food, medicine, electricity and fuel, in addition to harming communications and the media and killing journalists. Water was also cut off, sewerage was destroyed, movement was prohibited, and the historical and urban monuments of the place were demolished. Thus, they promised to return Gaza to the Stone Age, and they did so. The threat to the lives of citizens, the lack of the simplest means of protecting them, and the destruction of infrastructure and the basics of survival, all lead, if continued through a war of extermination, to the removal of the unifying components of civil society, and this in turn leads to the disintegration of the unity complex, civil society, and creates an environment and conditions conducive to expulsion and forced displacement. Now 1.7 million people are displaced inside the Gaza Strip under pain of death and massacres to places that lack the most basic conditions for protection and human life. In this context, there are forces and countries that deal with the project of displacing the citizens of the Gaza Strip, and with plans to assimilate them, under the guise of humanitarian motives, but they do so from a position of supporting the Israeli colonial goal.


The war of extermination that is destroying the northern Gaza Strip and pushing its citizens to migrate to the south has not ended, and to further advance the war to its goals, the aggression state called on citizens in parts of Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah, which are crowded with displaced people from the north, to leave towards a so-called safe area close to the sea. If the occupation army storms the southern region later, about 2.3 million people will be facing a fateful threat that is rare.


The risk of forced displacement has decreased, but it has not ended, due to the Egyptian position rejecting displacement. The risk of displacement to Jordan, which was posed by the settlers, remained at a low level, and was met with Jordanian rejection, reinforced by the deployment of the Jordanian army on the border with Palestine. 

There is a Palestinian, Arab and international rejection of forced displacement, but the danger remains as long as the occupying state continues to destroy the survival requirements for basic and vital parts of the Gaza Strip, in addition to the intention of the occupying state to cut off a security strip from the territory of the Gaza Strip for the benefit of the Israeli residents of the enclave, and the continuation of war and displacement.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs keeps the risk of displacement outside the Gaza Strip on the table. Stopping the aggression and supporting the conditions for the Palestinian people to remain in Gaza at a level that exceeds supply trucks, medicine and fuel, which are less than the minimum, constitutes real support for an afflicted and threatened people, and is the basic guarantee for thwarting the war of extermination and its goals, the first of which is the displacement of citizens from their country.


[1] Alian al-Hindi, “The Aggression on the Gaza Strip 2023” (report).

[2] Yossi Melman, “How Israel Remembered the Transfer,” Al-Ayyam, quoted from “Haaretz,” 11/20/2023.

[3] “American aid in exchange for receiving refugees,” Al Jazeera YouTube, 11/30/2023.

[4] “Blinken to the region carrying the Tokyo principles,” Asharq Al-Awsat, 11/28/2023.

[5] Yossi Melman, previously mentioned source

[6] https://www.aljazeera.net/politics/2022/6/5/%D8%A8%D9%8A%

[7] Yossi Melman, previously mentioned source.

[8] https://www.palquest.org/ar/highlight/33419/%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9 %82%D9%88%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9% 8A%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%8C-2018

Source: Institute of Palestine Studies

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Stop the war of genocide... stop the displacement

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