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Likud Ministers endorse colonisation plans for Gaza: ‘We will claim this land’

‘Securing our sovereignty means expanding our borders,’ declares an Israeli official. The contentious conference, ‘Victory Convention: Conquer and Colonise Gaza’, has drawn criticism for its aggressive stance. Key figures of 20 Israeli ministers and deputies, including Yossi Dogan and Daniella Weis from the Likud party, advocate for the settlement expansion in Gaza, with Weis revealing, ‘Seven new settlements are set to fortify the Gaza frontier.’

January 25, 2024 at 8:40 am

Two far-right ministers from the Likud party, Haim Katz and Miki Zohar, arranged  a controversial conference calling for the reestablishment of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Times of Israel, the conference titled “Only Settlement Will Bring Security,” garnered support from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling party, of which the ministers are members.

Israeli Tourism Minister, Haim Katz, linked Hamas’s unprecedented infiltration of Israel on 7 October to the removal of illegal settlements from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. He argued that removing the settlements contributed to the emergence of security challenges in the enclave and northern West Bank.

In a statement, Katz said reestablishing the settlements “will be a resolute message to our murderous enemies that we will never be broken.”

Removing the settlements “created the Nazi monster in the Gaza Strip and the wave of terror that has come out of northern Samaria in recent years,” he added.

He further claimed that most of the Israeli public agrees with the principle that “only settlement brings security.”

Sports and Culture Minister Zohar said the conference’s objectives include emphasising the importance of settlements and the prevention of establishing a Palestinian state.

Ministers and lawmakers affiliated with the far-right Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionism parties are set to participate in the event, which is set to take place on Sunday at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem.

This includes Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir who, along with Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, called for the “voluntary emigration” of Palestinians from Gaza and the expansion of settlements, as the post-war fate of millions in the Strip continues to be debated.

All of Israel’s settlements and settlers are illegal under international law.

In 2005, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon enacted a law requiring unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, and the removal of 25 illegal settlements in the two areas.

Twenty-one illegal settlements in Gaza were dismantled and 8,000 settlers were relocated. In the occupied West Bank, four illegal settlements were emptied but their structures were maintained and the areas labelled closed military zones.

READ: British volunteer doctors reveal horrors of Gaza’s healthcare crisis