Israeli lawmakers call to resettle Gazans abroad

Left and right-wing MKs urge West to take in Gazans as refugees.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israeli lawmakers representing the Coalition and the Opposition joined together to call on the West to help resettle civilians from the war-torn Gaza Strip.

In an op-ed piece published in The Wall Street Journal Monday, MK Danny Danon (Likud), a member of the Coalition, and Ram Ben-Barak (Yesh Atid), from the Opposition, issued a joint call for Western nations to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip by helping to voluntarily relocate civilians out of the coastal enclave.

Noting that Hamas terrorists have stolen food and medical supplies and fuel from the humanitarian convoys Israel has permitted to enter Gaza from the Egyptian-ruled Sinai Peninsula, Ben-Barak and Danon said that resettling at least some of the residents of Gaza would relieve the growing shortages in the Strip.

“One idea is for countries around the world to accept limited numbers of Gazan families who have expressed a desire to relocate,” Ben-Barak and Danon wrote.

“Europe has a long history of assisting refugees fleeing conflicts. The wars in the former Yugoslavia displaced millions, most of them from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Germany, Austria and Sweden accepted large numbers.”

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“Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. also accepted refugees. European countries including Germany, Sweden and France have provided refuge to Syrians since the civil war started in 2011. Between 2015 and 2016, Germany alone admitted more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum-seekers, about a quarter of whom were Syrian.”

The MKs suggested that instead of simply funding relief programs for Gaza – noting that much of the aid is diverted to Hamas – the international community could instead pay for resettling and absorbing Gazans.

“Looking to these examples, countries around the world should offer a haven for Gaza residents who seek relocation. Countries can accomplish this by creating well-structured and internationally coordinated relocation programs.”

“Members of the international community can collaborate to provide one-time financial-support packages to Gazans interested in moving to help with relocation costs and to ease refugees’ acclimation to their new communities.”

Last month, a leaked Israeli government document revealed that the Intelligence Ministry had drafted a plan for the possible transfer of Gaza’s civilian population to Egypt.

The plan, one of several options drafted by the ministry in the wake of the October 7th invasion and massacre of Israelis, included an option for eventual resettlement of Gazans in the West or across the Arab world.