A document compiled by Israel’s Intelligence Ministry recommends moving Gaza’s civilian population to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula as a solution for the Strip following the toppling of its Hamas rulers, according to a copy of the document published by the Sicha Mekomit website.
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.
The plan notes likely issues with international legitimacy, but justifies the move by couching it in terms of a solution for a refugee population seeking shelter from war. It claims such forced transfer would also serve as a warning to Hezbollah, presumably as what Israel could force on southern Lebanon, an area previously occupied by Israel’s military from 1982 to 2000.
The document also includes two other options, importing Palestinian Authority control into the Strip or propping up a local regime, but dismisses both as problematic for various reasons, including the fact that it will not serve as a deterrent to attacking Israel.
Egypt has refused to consider taking in Palestinians fleeing Israel’s offensive in Gaza.