Israeli far-right 'break into Gaza' to build illegal settlement

Israeli far-right 'break into Gaza' to build illegal settlement
Far-right Israelis stormed the border with Gaza in an attempt to re-establish illegal settlements in the devastated Palestinian enclave.
3 min read
01 March, 2024
Israel moved heavy weapons units to the Erez crossing following the storming of it by far-right extremists [Getty]

Dozens of Israeli far-right settlers broke through an army checkpoint and crossed into Gaza on Thursday aiming to rebuild illegal settlements in the Palestinian enclave.

Many of the invaders made it hundreds of meters into the occupied Palestinian territory before Israeli forces intervened.

The incident took place at the Erez crossing, where the extremists "violently broke through an IDF checkpoint", the Israeli military said in a statement.

The far-right mob gathered at the city of Sderot, the closest point to the Gaza Strip, before forming a convoy and driving to Erez to storm a checkpoint.

The group carried orange ribbons, a colour associated with Israel’s extreme right-wing "return" movement which aims to reoccupy the illegal Gush Katif settlement in Gaza, which was abandoned during Israel's withdrawal from the Palestinian enclave in 2005.

Some managed to make half a kilometre into Gazan territory, while others built two structures on the border, symbols of their intent to settle the land that belongs to Palestinians under international law.

A member of the movement told the Anadolu Agency that 500 families have volunteered to reoccupy Gaza, with the movement claiming that Israel will only be safe when "Jewish settlements and towns are established" inside Gaza.

"If we leave a gap, this place will turn into a hornet's hive of terror of Hamas again," Mechi Fendel stated.


A post shared by +972 Magazine (@972mag)

'Gaza is our land'

Regarding the warnings by the international community to Israel against any illegal settlements in Gaza, Fendel said: "We are a sovereign state. This (Gaza) is our land."

"I don't understand. This is similar to demanding that Germany give part of its territory to another structure. Why would the US give part of Texas to Mexico?"

Gaza and the West Bank in considered occupied Palestinian land under international law

Members of Israel’s 'return' or 'settlement' movement advocate for a Greater Israel that includes the entire West Bank and Gaza - some even with Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian territory - envisioning it without Palestinians and non-Jews.

Far-right politicians close to this settler movement, such as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, are currently part of the ruling coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Live Story

This has led many Gazans to fear they could lose their land to Israeli settlers.

Over 85 percent of Gaza’s population is currently crammed into the south of the enclave, the vast majority of whom are Palestinians displaced by Israel’s destruction of the north.

Both Ben-Gvir and Smotrich have openly spoken about their hope that Gaza's Palestinian population would "immigrate", which they say would enable the Jewish-Israeli settlement of the Palestinian enclave.

The US has warned Israel against any attempt to expel or resettle Gazans with a State Department spokesman saying in January that "Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain Palestinian land".