An MP from Israel’s ruling Likud party and a recent minister called on Wednesday for all of Gaza to be erased from the Earth. She said the coastal enclave should be “wiped out”.
Galit Distel Atbaryan, who until two weeks ago was public diplomacy minister, posted the message on Facebook. She urged Israelis to end any internal arguments and concentrate on the “monsters” in Gaza.
Speaking to those angry over the 7 October attacks by Hamas, she said, “Invest that energy in one thing. Erasing all of Gaza from the face of the Earth.” Distel Atbaryan added she hoped, “The Gazan monsters will fly to the southern fence and try to enter Egyptian territory—or they will die. Gaza should be erased.”
Her plan echoes the long-held wish of Binyamin Netanyahu’s government to drive a substantial number—or all—of Palestinians in Gaza into the Egyptian Sinai desert region.
This week the Israeli media published a leaked document from the state’s spy network. It has a plan to remove forcibly Palestinians first to tent cities and then to permanent cities in North Sinai.
The document, dating from 13 October, includes establishing a “sterile” buffer zone several miles wide inside Egypt. The Ministry of Intelligence confirmed the existence of the document.
But Egypt has repeatedly refused to allow Palestinians to be displaced onto its territory, with president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi reiterating his position in a call with his US counterpart, Joe Biden earlier this week.
Sisi fears Palestinians could re-ignite a revolutionary process in Egypt. But if the US and Israel offered to help Egypt escape its £140 billion debts, Sisi might change his tune.
An article on Middle East Eye website details that similar schemes have existed for many years. It says, “The Greater Gaza Plan first came to light in 2014, after leaks to Israeli and Egyptian media— apparently part of a pressure campaign on Sisi, then recently installed with US backing.
“As concern grew among Egyptians and Palestinians, a former aide to Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt until 2011, came forward to state that the administration of George W Bush had pressured Mubarak to accept the plan as far back as 2007.”
Any such expulsion to the Sinai is a re-enactment—on an even larger scale—of the dispossession and removal of huge numbers of Palestinians from their homes in 1948. And again, it will be done through death and terror. The difference is that this time it will be F-16s and artillery rather than dynamite and rifles.
The scale of what’s already happening was underlined by Craig Mokhiber, New York Office director of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as he resigned this week.
He said Israel’s military actions in Gaza were “textbook genocide”. Mokhiber went on, “The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine.
“What’s more, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and much of Europe, are wholly complicit in the horrific assault”
Mokhiber said Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden’s government were “actively arming the assault, providing economic and intelligence support”. And he said they were “giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities.”
He revealed that “the mantra of the ‘two-state solution’ has become an open joke in the corridors of the UN.”
In a follow-up interview with Al Jazeera news, Mokhiber said, “Usually the most difficult part of proving genocide is intent because there has to be an intention to destroy in whole, or in part, a particular group.
“In this case, the intent by Israeli leaders has been so explicitly stated and publicly stated—by the prime minister, by the president, by senior cabinet ministers, by military leaders—that that is an easy case to make.”
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