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Israel: think tank linked to Netanyahu promotes ‘unique opportunity’ to ethnically cleanse Gaza

October 24, 2023 at 12:45 pm

An injured Palestinian man is taken to the Kuwait Hospital after the Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza on October 22, 2023 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency]

A think tank with ties to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting plans for the complete ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy has published a position paper advocating the “relocation and final settlement of the entire Gaza population.”

The detailed plan, published originally in Hebrew, has been translated and shared by Mondoweiss. The report advocates exploiting the current situation to accomplish a long-held Zionist goal of moving Palestinians off the land of historic Palestine.

The sub-heading of the report makes the intention clear:

There is at the moment a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the whole Gaza Strip in coordination with the Egyptian government

This, it is claimed, aligns closely with the geopolitical interests of key players, including Israel, Egypt, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

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The think tank explained that in 2017, Egypt was reported to have an astonishing 10 million available apartment units, with half already constructed and the other half in various stages of development. Notably, two of Cairo’s largest satellite cities, “October 6” and “Ramadan 10”, boasted an extensive number of completed yet unoccupied apartments, under both governmental and private ownership, as well as vacant lots primed for new construction. The housing surplus is estimated to be sufficient to accommodate around six million people.

The institute has even conducted a cost analysis survey. It said that an average three-room apartment of 95 square metres, designed to house an average Gaza family of 5.14 individuals, could be acquired in either of the Egyptian cities for just $19,000. Considering the estimated Gaza Strip population of 1.4-2.2m people, it’s estimated that the funds required to implement this ambitious plan would range from $5 billion to $8 billion.

It went on to state that the injection of such substantial funds into the Egyptian economy would provide a significant and immediate advantage to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. When juxtaposed with the Israeli economy, the financial investment required, even at the high end of the estimate, represents a relatively modest sum. The proposed solution, despite being in the order of billions of dollars (potentially reaching $20 to $30bn), offers an innovative, cost-effective and practical remedy for a long-standing issue, said the organisation.

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According to Mondoweiss, the Misgav Institute is headed by former Netanyahu National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat, who remains influential in Israeli security circles.

This would not be the first time that Israelis have put ethnic cleansing on the table as a possible solution for the apartheid state’s “conflict” with the Palestinians. Israeli analysts and politicians have previously made suggestions for what’s referred to in Zionist terminology as the “transfer” of Palestinians. During the 2014 war against Gaza, Moshe Feiglin of the Likud party, who was the deputy chair of the Knesset at the time, is said to have publicly presented a 7-point proposal for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. He reiterated this stance in 2018.

In a recent programme on Channel 14, Israelis called for a strategy reminiscent of the devastating World War Two firebombing of Dresden in February 1945, which claimed the lives of around 25,000 people. Feiglin referred to the plan as a “Dresden” in Gaza, expressing the need for a “storm of fire” to engulf the entire region, with the goal of leaving “not one stone on another.” He emphasised the use of “total fire” and described it as “the end of ends.”