Israel 'plans to expel Gaza population' to Democratic Republic of Congo

Israel 'plans to expel Gaza population' to Democratic Republic of Congo
Israeli officials have made many indications that they intend to expel Gaza's population, with new reports of secret talks with Congo in this regard.
3 min read
03 January, 2024
Gaza's 1.9 million displaced people have been pushed further and further south into an increasingly small area of land by Israel [Getty]

Israeli officials are reported to be holding secret talks with the  Democratic Republic of Congo and other nations regarding the expulsion of Palestinians displaced by Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, according to a report by the Israeli newspaper Zman Yisrael on Wednesday.

The newspaper, which is the Hebrew-language sister outlet of the Times of Israel, said the Gaza "migration" policy is rapidly becoming the leading policy of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the war cabinet regarding Gaza's population.

Netanyahu has reportedly given the go-ahead for the expulsion policy and high-level cabinet members are following suit, which has initiated the talks with Congo as a possible destination.

Most of Gaza's 2.3 million population have been displaced by Israel's indiscriminate and brutal war, which has so far killed at least 22,313 people, most of them women and children, and injured 57,296.

At the beginning of the war, Israel ordered residents of the northern Gaza Strip to leave their homes, and many Israeli officials made statements supporting the forced expulsion of Gaza's residents

“Congo will be willing to take in migrants, and we are negotiating with others,” said a senior source in the Israeli war cabinet quoted by the Times of Israel.

Last Monday, at a meeting of the Likud Party, Netanyahu fully endorsed the idea, saying: “Our problem is finding countries willing to accept them [Gazans], and we are working on it.”

On Tuesday, the US criticised far-right Israeli ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich for advocating the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.

However, the support and implementation by Netanyahu, leading to the clandestine talks between the Israeli government and the Democratic Republic of Congo, appears to be a dangerous escalation in the implementation of an expulsion plan that has often been characterised as ethnic cleansing and genocide

The Israeli government is calling the policy “voluntary migration”, but quotes from senior cabinet ministers suggest that the entire policy hinges upon Israel making Gaza uninhabitable for the civilian population, essentially forcing Palestinians to leave. 

“At the end of the war Hamas rule will collapse, there are no municipal authorities, the civilian population will be entirely dependent on humanitarian aid. There will be no work, and 60% of Gaza’s agricultural land will become security buffer zones,” Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel said to the Knesset on Tuesday.

Live Story

Gamliel, who is allegedly one of the main authors of the plan according to Zman Yisrael, presented the Israeli cabinet with a map showing a postwar Gaza, with the remaining Palestinian civilians being "closed off from all directions", and with Israel “expanding its security borders unrecognisably, controlling the Philadelphi Corridor, and imposing a permanent naval blockade”.

This, the Israeli government is arguing, necessitates the migration of the civilian population. Gamliel also claimed that no Palestinian body was fit to take power in Gaza as the civilian population will be exposed to “constant hatred of Israel” and it will lead to more attacks like that of October 7.

The newspaper also reported that Saudi Arabia was discussed by the war cabinet as a potential destination for Palestinians in Gaza, with Israeli ministers citing the large amounts of South Asian workers used by the Riyadh as it continues its construction boom.