Netanyahu’s Goal for Gaza: “Thin” Population “to a Minimum”

The White House requested billions to support refugee resettlement from Ukraine and Gaza in October.

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On this week’s episode of Deconstructed, I spoke with “Breaking Points” co-host Krystal Ball about my new book, “The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution.” You can listen to it on whichever podcast platform you use, and the video has been posted on Krystal’s channel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tasked his top adviser, Ron Dermer, the minister of strategic affairs, with designing plans to “thin” the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip “to a minimum,” according to a bombshell new report in an Israeli newspaper founded by the late Republican billionaire Sheldon Adelson. 

The outlet, Israel Hayom, is considered to be something of an official organ for Netanyahu. It reported that the plan has two main elements: The first would use the pressure of the war and humanitarian crisis to persuade Egypt to allow refugees to flow to other Arab countries, and the second would open up sea routes so that Israel “allows a mass escape to European and African countries.” Dermer, who is originally from Miami, is a Netanyahu confidante and was previously Israeli ambassador to the United States, and enjoys close relations with many members of Congress. 

The plan to ethnically cleanse Gaza of Palestinians faces some internal resistance from less hard-line members of Netanyahu’s cabinet, according to Israel Hayom. 

Israel Today and other Israeli media are also reporting on a plan being pushed with Congress that would condition aid to Arab nations on their willingness to accept Palestinian refugees. The plan even proposes specific numbers of refugees for each country: Egypt would take one million Palestinians, half a million would go to Turkey, and a quarter million each would go to Yemen and Iraq. 

The reporting relies heavily on the passive voice, declining to say who put the proposal together: “The proposal was shown to key figures in the House and Senate from both parties. Longtime lawmaker, Rep. Joe Wilson, has even expressed open support for it while others who were privy to the details of the text have so far kept a low profile, saying that publicly coming out in favor of the program could derail it.” 

To underscore how absurd the refugee resettlement plan is, the de facto Houthi government in Yemen claimed an attack today on a U.S. ship as well as commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

Back on October 20, in a little-noticed message to Congress, the White House asked for $3.495 billion that would be used for refugees from both Ukraine and Gaza, referencing “potential needs of Gazans fleeing to neighboring countries.”

“This crisis could well result in displacement across border and higher regional humanitarian needs, and funding may be used to meet evolving programming requirements outside of Gaza,” the letter from the White House Office of Management and Budget reads. The letter came two days after Jordan and Egypt warned they would not open their borders to a mass exodus of Palestinians, arguing that past history shows they would never be able to return. 

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