‘Incendiary, Irresponsible’ – US blasts Israeli conference to resettle Jews in Gaza

Netanyahu said the plan to resettle Gaza was “unrealistic” and doesn’t reflect his government’s policies.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

The White House and France’s Foreign Ministry criticized the “Settlements Bring Security” conference in Jerusalem on Sunday during which Israeli government ministers called for the resettlement of Gaza after the war.

The Biden Administration issued a statement condemning the conference saying, “This rhetoric is incendiary and irresponsible.”

The statement continued, “We take the Prime Minister at his word when he says that Israel does not intend to reoccupy Gaza.”

It concluded, “We have also been clear, consistent, and unequivocal against the forced relocation of Palestinians outside of Gaza.”

Although Netanyahu didn’t condemn the conference and the speeches, in a statement on Saturday night, the Prime Minister commented that the plan to resettle Gaza was “unrealistic” and that the sentiments expressed by the ministers didn’t reflect his government’s policies.

The event in Jerusalem was attended by 5,000 people, most belonging to the religious Zionist movement as well as a third of Netanyahu’s cabinet, including 11 government ministers and 15 coalition lawmakers.

Many of the lawmakers who spoke promised to re-establish the 17 Israeli towns in the southern Gaza Strip that were emptied of 8,600 of its Jewish residents during the Disengagement from Gaza in 2005.

In a speech at the gathering, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said, “It’s time to return home to Gush Katif.”

US government officials said they were “troubled” by the statements made at the conference and France’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement referencing the ICJ’s requirement on Israel to take steps to avoid genocide in Gaza.

In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry said, “France recalls that the International Court of Justice recently set out Israel’s obligation to take all measures within its power to prevent and punish this kind of rhetoric.”

It added, “It is not up to the Israeli government to decide where Palestinians should live on their land.”

“The future of the Gaza Strip and of its inhabitants falls within the framework of a unified Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel,” the statement concluded.