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As genocide unfolds, Israel settlers plan ‘dream’ beach house in Gaza

December 18, 2023 at 3:37 pm

A picture taken on May 4, 2018 from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border with the Gaza Strip shows Israeli settlers waving an Israeli flag and holding a banner [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

In a shocking development, a coalition of Israeli settler groups, reportedly funded by the apartheid state, has convened to discuss a “practical” plan to build the first settlements in Gaza. This revelation comes amidst the ongoing genocidal war waged by the Israeli government against Palestinians.

The conference, organised by a coalition of settler groups, is raising serious concerns about the intention to build houses on top of destroyed Palestinian homes. Harey Zahav, an Israeli real estate firm notorious for constructing illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank, unveiled a plan for homes in Gaza. Their advertisements shockingly proclaim, “A house on the beach is not a dream!” as the death toll in Gaza rises to 20,000.

The brazenness of planning new settlements in Gaza, even as the Israeli government is accused of committing genocidal acts against Palestinians, has sparked condemnation from various quarters. Critics argue that the explicit and blatant post-genocide colonisation strategy employed by the Israeli government constitutes further war crimes.

Building settlements on the ruins of destroyed Palestinian homes brings back painful memories of the Nakba when more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages were razed to the ground by Zionist militias.

As Israel pushes on with its genocidal war despite international condemnation, an extremist fringe of Jewish settlers are mobilising with the support of the Israeli occupation army to push a radical expansionist vision focused on permanently displacing Palestinians.

Settler groups openly advocate annexing and settling lands across the Occupied West Bank, aiming to fulfil an ideological commitment to occupy the biblical land of Israel. Key figures driving this agenda even call for violently expelling over two million Gazans to enable rebuilding evacuated settlements there.

READ: Palestine PM calls for settlers to be added to terrorist lists

Beyond political cover, the genocide in Gaza hands extremists more funding and weapons while weakening legal deterrence for vigilantism against Palestinian communities. In the West Bank, dozens of incidents of settlers destroying property and displacing villagers have occurred since 7 October, with near total impunity.

Leaders of illegal settler groups now expressly state that, in the aftermath of conflict, “no one stops you or tells you not to do it.” The settlers’ sense of inflated power is also reviving calls to annex large swathes of the West Bank, along with proposals to forcibly “transfer” Palestinian populations.

Rather than calm tensions, Israel’s genocide in Gaza has become a pretext for fulfilling a dark, messianic vision of Greater Israel built upon perpetual oppression. It is feared that, without urgent intervention to halt settler expansion and violence, facts on the ground threaten to bury any faint hopes for peaceful co-existence.