By Owei Lakemfa
The Israeli plans to deport Palestinians from Gaza to Africa which have been informally confirmed, formally denied, but widely condemned. Despite the wide condemnation including by the United States, US and European Union, EU two bodies that have traditionally backed the Israeli actions in the Palestine, it is difficult to say which condemnations are genuine and which along the way, would be reversed.
The on-going condemnations in the New Year began following the official voice given by two Israeli cabinet Ministers to a military proposal for the for the ‘voluntary emigration’ of Gazans. This is an euphemism for the forced deportation of Palestinians from their ancestral lands to make way for full occupation of the Palestine by Israelis.
To the Israeli establishment, deportation of millions of Palestinians is the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and guaranteed security of the southern Israeli borders.
The Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir told his party Otzma Yehudit members that the current war gives an “opportunity to concentrate on encouraging the migration of the residents of Gaza.” The deportation of Palestinians he argued, would be “a correct, just, moral and humane solution.”
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich who heads the Zionism Party, said the Palestinian deportation policy would: “encourage the voluntary migration of Gaza’s residents to countries that will agree to take in the refugees.”
The Zman Israel Newspapers, the Hebrew version of ‘The Times of Israel’ reported on January 3, 2023 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition is secretly conducting meetings with countries that would accept the deported Palestinians. It quoted an Israeli senior source in the security cabinet as saying: “Congo (DRC) will be willing to take in migrants, and we’re in talks with others.” The others that have been mentioned include Egypt, Chad and Rwanda.
The DRC, currently led by President Felix Tshisekedi is apparently being lured by Israel as despite its enormous resources, 52.5 per-cent of the population lives below the poverty line, it is the eleventh largest country in the world and has within three months of its June 30, 1960 independence, being unstable. So it might not be difficult to seize large swathes of land to resettle the Palestinians Israel hopes to deport.
Chad may also have been targeted because like the DRC it has been unstable for over four decades, is poverty ridden and the military regimes of Idris Deby, the father and Mahmat Deby, the son who have ruled the country for thirty three years now, are from the Zaghawa ethnic group which constitutes one per-cent of the population. So it may cost it nothing to give large areas of the ‘conquered’ country to Israel for resettlement of Palestinians it wants to deport.
Rwanda might have been targeted because it already has a migrants’ deportation deal with the United Kingdom under which it agrees to receive illegal migrants for a fee.
As for Egypt, it has been a long drawn plan with American support to relocate Gazans to the Sinai Peninsula.
French President Emmanuel Macron called Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz to warn against the deportation plans. He told Israel that: “ statements relating to the forced displacement of Gazans were unacceptable and contradicted the two-state solution which constitutes the only viable solution for a return to peace and security for all.”
The French Foreign Ministry followed up Macron’s warning with a statement warning that: “the forced transfer of populations constitutes a serious violation of international law within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute.”
It added that: “it is not up to the Israeli government to decide where the Palestinians should live on their lands. The future of the Gaza Strip and its inhabitants will be part of a unified Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel.”
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer condemned the deportation statements as: “they are neither useful nor helpful.” The close Israeli ally said: “there must be no expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza, there must be no territorial reduction of the Gaza Strip…from our point of view, a two-state solution remains the only sustainable model for Israelis and Palestinians to live together peacefully.”
In a very rare condemnation, the US which is Israel’s closest ally, arms supplier, protector in the United Nations and grants an annual $3 billion to Tel Aviv said the calls were: “inflammatory and irresponsible.”
US State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said: “We have been clear, consistent and unequivocal that Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain Palestinian land, with Hamas no longer in control of its future and with no terror groups able to threaten Israel.”
Stung by the US reproach, Ben Gvir responded: “with all due respect, we are not another star on the American flag.” Hde then reiterated his position: “The United States is our best friend, but first of all, we will do what is best for the State of Israel. The emigration of hundreds of thousands of people from Gaza will allow the residents of the border communities to return home and live in safety.”
In his own response, Smotrich told the US: “More than 70% of the Israeli public supports a humanitarian solution of encouraging the voluntary immigration of Arabs from Gaza and their absorption in other countries.”
The plan by Zionists to create a separate state and take over the Palestine was first muted in 1897 at the First Zionist Congress convened by Austrian journalist, Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland. It declared that its primary goal is: “The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Eretz-Israel of Jewish farmers, artisans, an manufacturers.”
The Jewish Social-Democratic Workers Party built on this at its October 4-6, 1906 Jaffa Conference. It decided that Jews would not only establish their separate state from the of the Palestinian population, but also and that there must be segregation of Jewish and Arab peoples and economies. This has been the Israeli programmes which was further deepened after the German pogrom.
The Gaza has been a main Israeli target for long not just because it has huge oil and gas reserves and good lands like the West Bank, but specifically, it is the gateway to the Israeli plan since the 1960s to build a canal, called the Ben Guiron Canal that would link the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. This canal if built would not only rival the Suez Canal but also give Israel enormous power over the supply routes for oil, food and shipping. The problem is how do you build the canal right through Gaza if the Palestinians remain in the land? So the solution is to deport the Gazans.
The Israeli plan to depot Palestinians to Africa is an insane one, but so also was the pogrom before it was put into practice.
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