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Israeli ministers and Knesset members sign petition ‘victory and renewal’ of settlements in Gaza

At a conference in Jerusalem aimed at planning the return to the Gaza Strip, Israel’s far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, together with fellow ministers and Knesset members, signed a petition advocating for the ‘victory and renewal’ of Israeli settlements in Gaza.

January 28, 2024 at 9:40 pm

Settlement groups held a conference in Jerusalem yesterday to call for settlement in the besieged Gaza Strip after the devastating Israeli genocidal war that has been ongoing for 114 days. It was attended by 12 ministers in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and more than 15 members of the Knesset, amid calls from the participants  to displace the Palestinians.

The Chairman of the Samaria Regional Council in the West Bank Yossi Dagan began the conference by saying, “The Oslo Accords are dead, the people of Israel live,” noting “After the holocaust we suffered [on October 7], the only ethical and godly decision is to return to the northern Samaria settlements and to return to the Gaza Strip, to Gush Katif.”

 “We have struggled together for 16 years to correct the shame of disengagement, deportation and displacement of settlements,” referring to Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip settlements in 2005 during the premiership of Ariel Sharon.

The participants raised a banner reading, “Only transfer [the displacement of Palestinians] will bring peace,” and the participating ministers and MKs signed a “petition” titled “Covenant of Victory and Renewal of Settlement,” as a response to the 7 October attack. They believe that this will bring security to the occupying state.

When Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who began his political career as an activist in the terrorist Kach movement, began the speech, the audience began chanting “Transfer… Transfer.” Ben-Gvir said in response, “They are right, they must be encouraged to leave voluntarily.”

“We need to return to our home [Gaza], control the land, push for a solution to encourage immigration [the emigration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip] and enact a death penalty law for terrorists.”

In addition to Ben-Gvir and the leaders of the settlement project, participants in the conference included Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich, the Minister of Communications Shlomo Karei, the Minister of Housing and Construction Yitzhak Goldknopf, the Minister of Tourism Haim Katz and Minister of Social Equality Amichai Shekli.

Finance Minister Smotrich said, “The people of Israel stand at an important and fateful crossroads,” noting that Israel could either “once again run away from terrorism or we settle the land, control it, fight terrorism and bring security to the entire State of Israel.”

“Without settlement, there is no security. And without security on Israel’s borders, there is no security in any part of Israel. God willing, together we will be victorious; God willing, together we will settle and be victorious,” he added.

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