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Voluntary migration is best and most realistic option after fighting stops, says Benjamin Netanyahu’s party
A humanitarian crisis is growing In Gaza, amid shortages of food and clean water CREDIT: Abed Zagout/Anadolu/Getty Images
Gazans could be relocated to Congo at the end of Israel’s war against Hamas under a “voluntary migration scheme”.
“Congo will be willing to take in migrants, and we’re in talks with others,” a senior source in the security cabinet told news site Zman Israel.
The news report said that Gazan “migration” was becoming the leading policy of the government as a solution to the conflict.
In Gaza, a humanitarian crisis is growing amid shortages of supplies, including food and clean water. What will happen to the enclave at the end of the fighting remains unclear.
Congo has high levels of inequality and 52.5 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Mr Netanyahu told a Likud faction meeting last week that he was working towards facilitating the “voluntary migration” of Gazans.
“Our problem is [finding] countries that are willing to absorb Gazans, and we are working on it,” the prime minister said.
The comments were made in response to Danny Danon, a member of the Israeli Knesset, who claimed that “the world is already discussing the possibilities of voluntary immigration”.
The far-Right Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties, led by Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister, have voiced their support.
Backers for migration have emerged from Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party.
Gila Gamliel, the intelligence minister, told Zman Israel on Tuesday that “voluntary migration is the best and most realistic programme for the day after the fighting ends”.
Ms Gamliel said during a conference held in the Knesset that, at the end of the war, Hamas rule will collapse, leaving the population “entirely dependent” on humanitarian aid.
‘World should support humanitarian emigration’
“The Gaza problem is not just our problem,” she said. “The world should support humanitarian emigration because that’s the only solution I know.”
The international community, including the United States, has rejected the possibility of the expulsion of Gazans.
Responding to the US criticism of the proposal to relocate Gazans, Mr Ben-Gvir said: “The United States is our best friend, but first of all we will do what is best for the State of Israel: the migration of hundreds of thousands from Gaza will allow the [Israeli] residents of the envelope to return home and live in security and will protect the IDF [Israel] soldiers.”
On Wednesday, France condemned the calls for Gazans to emigrate so Jewish settlers can return.
“France condemns the comments of Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, and national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir,” the French foreign ministry said.
“We call on Israel to refrain from such provocative declarations, which are irresponsible and fuel tensions.”