In a meeting of his Likud party, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed plans to find countries willing to “absorb” Palestinians from Gaza once the conflict subsides.
Netanyahu stated, “Our problem is countries that are ready to absorb them, and we are working on it.”
He suggested the world is already considering possibilities for voluntary immigration, according to a report by The Middle East Eye.
“The world is already discussing the possibilities of voluntary immigration,” he said, adding that a team must be established to “ensure that those who want to leave Gaza to a third country can do so. It needs to be settled. It has strategic importance for the day after the war.”
Former Likud minister Danny Danon echoed these sentiments, urging Western states to accept refugees from Gaza.
Palestinians have long said Israel’s current campaign in Gaza is aimed at ensuring their permanent expulsion from the area, according to the report.
Israel’s military strategy is seemingly aimed at making Gaza uninhabitable by destroying anything that sustains life, hoping that Palestinians will then “voluntarily” leave.
The US, EU, and Middle Eastern countries reject forced ethnic cleansing, but Israel seems to be pushing boundaries with little consequence.
Possible destinations for a potential exodus include Egypt, Jordan, and Western states. However, Egypt and Jordan have categorically ruled out accepting Palestinians, raising historical parallels with the Nakba of 1948.
Amid these developments, the conflict persists, with Israel striking over 100 targets in 24 hours, including military sites and tunnels.
Palestinian casualties continue to rise, with at least 20,915 reported deaths and 54,918 wounded. Israeli soldiers also face heavy losses, with 491 reported deaths since October 7.
Israel is in confrontation with Iran, having killed a senior advisor in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC). Tensions with Iran, coupled with Hezbollah’s involvement, add complexity to an already volatile situation.
Netanyahu dismissed reports suggesting US President Joe Biden prevented Israel from preemptively attacking Hezbollah, asserting Israel’s sovereignty in decision-making.