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Israel newspaper: Netanyahu wants to reduce Gaza Palestinians to lowest possible number

December 2, 2023 at 10:58 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 28, 2023 [ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel’s Israel Hayom newspaper revealed on Friday that the Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer is preparing a plan requested by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip to the minimum possible following the aggression the Israeli army on the strip.

Israel Hayom confirmed that the plan pursued by Likud Minister Dermer was not seen by most members of the Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs and was not discussed in official institutions and forums due to its “sensitivity”. The newspaper believes that the Joe Biden administration would reject it, and the prevailing opinion is that the plan is an unrealistic fantasy.

The newspaper expected the plan would be supported by the ministers of the Likud Party, led by Netanyahu, the Otzma Yehudit party, led by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and the Religious Zionist movement, led by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

The newspaper pointed out that despite the international community’s position and the military establishment in Tel Aviv on the plan, Netanyahu sees its implementation as a strategic goal for his government.

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It added that Netanyahu seeks to implement the plan without having to face a confrontation with the US, the international community and Egypt, which categorically opposes it, pointing out that those close to Netanyahu clarify that the plan does not express an intention to expel the Palestinians, but an attempt to reduce the population density in the Gaza Strip.

The newspaper reported that Israel could bypass the Egyptian opposition to implement the plan by enabling Gazans to leave the strip by sea and head to Europe and Africa.

The head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, called for the US to pressure Egypt to take control of the Gaza Strip after the aggression in Gaza, as well as forcing Jordan to control Area A, which includes the largest Palestinian population in the West Bank.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday, Lieberman, who was the minister of foreign affairs, security and finance, considered that Egypt’s control over the Gaza Strip and Jordan’s control over the populated areas in the West Bank is an alternative to the two-state solution, which he viewed as unrealistic.

The occupation army resumed its attacks on Gaza this morning with the end of the truce, while negotiations continue in the hope of reaching an agreement that will once again lead to the cessation of hostilities, the exchange of prisoners and the entry of humanitarian aid.

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