Israel In Secret Talks to ‘Resettle’ Palestinians in Africa

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Officials in Israel are holding clandestine discussions with the Democratic Republic of Congo and other African nations, regarding the ‘voluntary’ resettlement of thousands of Palestinians from Gaza, according to Israeli media reports.

As the Israeli government is increasingly adopting the “voluntary” resettlement of Palestinians from Gaza as official policy, Washington has reportedly dismissed such plans as “inflammatory and irresponsible”

RT reports: Plans for the “voluntary” resettlement of people from the besieged Palestinian enclave to the central African country are “slowly” becoming a key policy of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, the Times of Israel reported on Wednesday, citing a senior government source. It added that Israel has held talks with several African countries to determine if they would accept migrants from Gaza.

“Congo will be willing to take in migrants, and we’re in talks with others,” the news website said, quoting the unnamed official. Last Monday, Netanyahu told a meeting of his Likud party that he is progressing with plans for the migration of Gazans but that “our problem is [finding] countries that are willing to absorb Gazans.”

The Democratic Republic of Congo has high levels of poverty and inequality, a report by the World Food Program said, combined with recurring regional conflict and insecurity. The aid organization added that about 52.5% of its 5.5 million population lives below the poverty line.

On Tuesday, Washington rejected as “irresponsible” statements from Israeli officials over the proposed resettlement plan, including two who had called for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians.

“The United States rejects recent statements from Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a Tuesday statement.

He added: “The rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible.”

Smotrich dismissed Washington’s objection on Wednesday, claiming that some 70% of Israelis support the proposal because “two million people [in Gaza] wake up every morning with the desire to destroy the State of Israel.” Netanyahu’s office has previously issued statements to say that Smotrich and Ben Gvir do not represent official government policy over the conflict in Gaza.

The plan, though, will be necessary due to the postwar conditions of Gaza when the conflict subsides, Israel’s intelligence minister, Gila Gamliel, said on Tuesday at a conference in the Knesset. “At the end of the war, Hamas rule will collapse. There are no municipal authorities; the civilian population will be entirely dependent on humanitarian aid.”

Niamh Harris
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