Israel Discusses Voluntary Gaza Resident Absorption With Chad, Rwanda

By Matis Glenn

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame meets with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 28, 2017. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Rwanda and Chad are reportedly holding talks with Israel to discuss the possibility of the two African countries to take in thousands of residents of Gaza, Zman Yisrael reported Friday, as Israel denied accusations that it would forcibly relocate Palestinians after the war.

The report, from an anonymous Israeli official, also details conversations between the Mossad and the Foreign Ministry.

“We must move forward with this solution while paying close attention to international reactions that could interpret it as a forced transfer and not a voluntary migration.”

“This is why we work closely with legal advisors,” he said.

Under the proposition, Gaza residents who leave will receive a large financial grant, and Israel would supply Chad and/or Rwanda with various forms of aid, including military. 

Israel’s reason for the move is that it feels Gaza may not be habitable, as the military was forced to destroy civilian areas used by Hamas terrorists, including homes and schools.

“There is no other solution for Gaza residents other than immigration,” A member of the Security Cabinet told Zman Yisrael. “They have nowhere to return to today. Gaza is destroyed and has no future because it will remain that way.”  

Chad, though a majority Muslim country, has good relations with Israel, and so does Rwanda. A possible motivator for Rwanda is the combination of a recent a surge in its construction sector and a labor shortage., Israel24 reports. Thousands of immigrants would help the country continue its construction efforts.  

Chad established diplomatic ties with Israel in 2019 on the heels of the landmark Abraham Accords, which were originally signed by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and followed by other Arab countries. Rwandan leader Paul Kagame and Chad’s President Mahamat Déby have both visited Israel.

Last Thursday, Zman Yisrael reported that Israel was conducting talks with Congo along the same lines.

The Times of Israel reports that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference in Doha, Qatar, that when he visits Israel later this week he will tell Israeli officials to work harder to prevent civilian deaths, and that after the war, Gaza residents need to be able to “return home,” without pressure to leave their homes.

When asked Sunday by NBC News if Israel’s police after the war will be to forcibly relocate Gazans, Israeli President Yitzchak Herzog responded: “Absolutely, absolutely not.”

“Totally not agreed or is not the position of the Israeli government, or the Israeli parliament, or the Israeli public.”

Herzog was asked to address the calls of some in the Knesset to take an approach of mandatory resettlement, to which he replied: “But we are a democracy, and in democracy, you have a variety of ideas. And in a variety of ideas, and in a society where free speech is the basis of our national DNA, people can say whatever they want,” Herzog said. “So, in a Cabinet of 30 ministers where it’s not the security Cabinet, a minister can say whatever he wants. I may not like it, but this is Israeli politics.”

“And, by the way, you have in America people who say things which you don’t like. But that doesn’t mean it’s the policy of the administration.”

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