A source close to Netanyahu, whose name was not disclosed, told reporters covering the visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to Ukraine that Israel was ready to encourage Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip in a one-way emigration.
After the controversy created by the Omar Shakir case, the emigration plan has created another one that is shaking the whole country right now. The Israelis would be willing to bear the costs of this emigration, and would even be willing to allow the use of an Israeli aerodrome near Gaza to allow Palestinians to fly to their new destination.
The problem at this stage is that Israel has not found any host country. This senior official did not reveal to which governments Israel had spoken, but it is probably the Gulf States, with which Israel has greatly improved its diplomatic relations. These countries have a pressing need for workers, and Palestinians would provide them with cheap labour.
This information is repeated by all medias in Israel with the same source, an unnamed senior official in the entourage of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, who was visiting Ukraine. According to the same source, there is spontaneous emigration from the Gaza Strip, with Palestinians finding themselves host countries.
An alleged “population transfer”
In 2018, more than 35,000 of Gaza’s 2 million residents left the Palestinian enclave, the unnamed senior official says, most of them because of the economic situation. For the most part, they were educated and relatively well off, including 150 doctors. An Israeli Arab MP claimed that this policy was no more than a form of “population transfer”. If the inhabitants of Gaza have to emigrate, said one of his colleagues, it is towards Palestine.