New Document Leak on Plan to Expel Gaza Population

A leaked document from the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence to an Israeli news site on Monday lays out a plan to transfer more than 2 million Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt’s Sinai desert, reports Joe Lauria.

Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal aera in Gaza City on Oct. 9, 2023 (Naaman Omar apaimages/Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The document from the Ministry of Intelligence is being downplayed by Israeli officials, who are saying it is not being actively considered while the ground operation is underway.  The document was first published in Hebrew by the news website Sicha Mekomit. The article’s blurb says: 

“A document on behalf of the Ministry of Intelligence, the full content of which is published here for the first time, recommends the forced transfer of the population of the Gaza Strip to Sinai permanently, and calls for the international community to be harnessed for the move. The document also suggests promoting a ‘dedicated campaign’ for the residents of Gaza that will ‘motivate them to agree to the plan.'”

The news site’s source said the Ministry’s “personnel stand behind these recommendations” but that they are “not based on military intelligence” and are only used as “a basis for discussions in the government.”

The Times of Israel reported:

“The document is being downplayed by government officials, with the Prime Minister’s Office telling Haaretz that it represents ‘initial thoughts’ on the issue, which is currently not being considered by authorities focused on the war effort and not the day after.

The document, which is dated October 13, calls for the civilian population to be moved to tent cities in northern Sinai, and eventually the building of permanent cities and the opening of a humanitarian corridor. The plan includes a several-kilometer-wide ‘sterile’ buffer zone inside Egypt, to ensure the population cannot settle on Israel’s borders.”  

According to Sicha Mekomit, the document says, “The messages [to the Gazans] should revolve around the loss of the land, that is, to make it clear that there is no longer any hope of returning to the territories that Israel will occupy in the near future … The image should be ‘Allah made sure that you lost this land because of the leadership of Hamas – there is no choice but to move to another place with the help of Your Muslim brothers.”  

It is a cynical message in the extreme to sell a crime against humanity to a totally desperate population. “The term ‘forcible transfer’ describes the forced relocation of civilian populations as part of an organized offensive against that population. It is a crime against humanity punishable by the International Criminal Court (ICC),” according to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.  The ICC is currently investigating possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and Palestine.

According to Sicha Mekomit, the Israeli government is well aware of the international damage to Israel’s reputation that would result from implementing such a plan by force:

“It is claimed [in the document] that if the population of Gaza remains in the Strip there will be ‘many Arab deaths’ during the expected occupation of Gaza, and this will damage Israel’s international image even more than the deportation of the population. For all these reasons, the recommendation of the Ministry of Intelligence is to promote the transfer of all citizens from Gaza to Sinai permanently.”

According to The Washington Post, Egypt and the United States have discussed ways to keep the Palestinian population from being forced out of Gaza.  According to a White House readout of a call, the U.S. and Egyptian leaders “discussed the importance of protecting civilian lives, respect for international humanitarian law, and ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza are not displaced to Egypt or any other nation.” 

Most Gazans are already refugees or descendants of refugees who were expelled from their homes by Israel in 1948 in the violent creation of the state of Israel.

Palestinian refugees in Gaza, 1956. (National Library of Israel.)

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette, the London Daily Mail and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe

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13 comments for “New Document Leak on Plan to Expel Gaza Population

  1. Tom Partridge
    October 31, 2023 at 16:10

    From the earliest of times Zionism showed contempt and a deep hostility toward the indigenous population of Palestine. The intention from the beginning was to clear as many Palestinians as possible from Palestine.
    As early as 1919 Chaim Weizmann, a known moderate Zionist, declared at the Paris Peace Conference for a Palestine ‘as Jewish as England is English’. The conference was set up to determine the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers after World War I.
    Ben-Gurion’s intentions were clear when he wrote to his son in 1937, the need to expel Arabs from the Negev and Transjordan and to use force if necessary to ‘determine our right to settle in those areas’. Ben-Gurian was nothing if not territorially ambitious.
    However, the opportunity arose in March and April 1948 when Plan Dalet (Plan D), the master plan for the expulsion of Palestinians was instigated, a plan which led to massacres in villages like Dir Yassin and Balad Al-shaykh where scores of Palestinians were slaughtered, actions that caused Palestinians to flee under the threat of death or eviction. A process of genocide and ethnic cleansing resulted in the removal of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and property.
    It is therefore no surprise that what we see today is the continuation of Israeli expansionism, settlements on the West Bank, the gradual annexation of East Jerusalem, and culminating now in the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Gaza. But what is happening today has been occurring for more than 70 years.
    In 2015, Netanyahu stated, ” If I’m Elected, There Will Be No Palestinian State”. Why should we be surprised at the actions of Israel now, when Netanyahu can make statements like, “Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories.” He has made many similar comments since then.
    During this current crisis, Israel, from their own statements, has declared brazenly to the world that they are carrying out acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the people of Gaza and Western governments can hold themselves complicit in these crimes because they had the power to make it stop and never did.

  2. Manuel Fiadeiro
    October 31, 2023 at 12:16

    1830 Indian Removal Act
    2023 Palestinian Removal Act

  3. CaseyG
    October 30, 2023 at 22:32

    Oh Israel——-you are insane. Nothing good will come of this and once again Israel will be cast adrift—but no one will care this time.

  4. Paul
    October 30, 2023 at 18:30

    Let’s hypothesize that Israel leadership have long thought they had a Palestinian problem. With a lot of patience, how might they solve it?

    Well, they might put most or all Palestinians into ghettos where they would make life intolerable. Predictably that population might eventually blow up and launch an attack on Israel, allowing Israel to justify a severe counter-attack on their Palestinian population, killing many and forcing most of the rest to flee the country.

    Popular opinion seems to be that the Palestinians launched their attack to provoke Israel into the attack, but it seems unclear whether the reverse might be the case

  5. gcw919
    October 30, 2023 at 16:06

    The images of colossal destruction in Gaza bring to mind Edvard Munch’s, “The Scream.” Is there no humanity left in this administration? These horrific scenes, which are more like never-ending nightmares, could be stopped with one phone call.

    • doris
      October 31, 2023 at 18:11

      Sorry, but there was never any “humanity” in this, or any administration since JFK and RFK. Now RFKjr. has lost his humanity. Supporting Israel’s slaughter of the innocents makes him and all who support it genocide sympathizers. Check out Jimmy Dore’s interview with Max Blumenthal. It’s a goodie.

  6. Lois Gagnon
    October 30, 2023 at 14:09

    It is crucial for people all over the world to keep the pressure up on the ICC to charge all involved in promoting and committing genocide in Gaza. The lack of accountability for past crimes against humanity has fostered a belief amongst the perpetrators that they are untouchable and have nothing to fear for what they are now engaged in.

    Considering the grave danger that war on two fronts spreading poses to the whole world, it is imperative that this attitude of impunity by the perennial offenders be stopped in its tracks. The rule of law must be enforced. If it’s not, the ICC may as well disband and the UN along with it.

    • Riva Enteen
      October 30, 2023 at 15:53

      Yes, if the rule of law isn’t enforced now, the ICC and UN will be showing the world they are totally impotent, if not actual collaborators in crimes against humanity.

    • October 30, 2023 at 17:48

      Sadly, the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel as it is not a signatory to the Rome Treaty that established the ICC. Only the U.N. Security Council can extend the ICC’s jurisdiction beyond the signatory nations and any such proposal would automatically be blocked by the U.S.

      By the same token, the ICC has no jurisdiction over the U.S. and for the same reason. As a result, no one could get the ICC to prosecute Bush, Cheney and company.

        October 31, 2023 at 02:35

        But the ICC has jurisdiction over Gaza and the West Bank as the Observer State of Palestine is an ICC member. It does not matter if the perpetrator is not a member if the crimes are committed on the territory of an ICC member. It does not matter that Israel is not a member. There has however been presumably enormous political pressure on the ICC from the US not to act against Israel as the ICC has been investigating this case for several years now.

    • SH
      October 30, 2023 at 18:17

      “The ICC is currently investigating possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and Palestine.”

      And that “investigation” will drag on and on until it peters out with no resolution while the “final solution” becomes a fait accompli – and what would be the “punishment” for Israel – a slap on the wrist, a “shame on you!” The US doesn’t recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC and would not “honor” its decision – there will be no Nuremberg court for Zionist Israel as there was for Nazi Germany …

      The UN GA resolution re a cease fire or humanitarian pause is non-binding even though passed by the vast majority of UN members – the only one who can possibly stop this is the US and they won’t, they are facilitating it …

      I have also seen a proposal for a massive bribe for Egypt to accept this plan – but hopefully they will remain firm and say NO!

  7. Carolyn L Zaremba
    October 30, 2023 at 13:46

    The Zionists are following the playbook of Adolf Hitler faithfully.

    • Lena
      October 31, 2023 at 05:34

      White has become black and black has become white. Good has become evil and evil has become good.

Comments are closed.