Expel Palestinians from Gaza: Israeli intelligence ministry

The Israeli Ministry of Intelligence is recommending the forcible and permanent transfer of the Gaza Strip's 2.2 million Palestinian residents to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, according to an official document revealed in full by progressive Israeli website Local Call Oct. 29. The 10-page document, dated Oct. 13, bears the logo of the Intelligence Ministry, and has been acknowledged by the ministry as authentic. It assesses three options regarding the future of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the context of the current war, and recommends a full population transfer as its preferred course of action. It also calls on Israel to enlist the international community in support of this endeavor. The document has been translated into English by Local Call's partner website +972.

The document recommends that Israel act to "evacuate the civilian population to Sinai" during the course of the conflict; establish tent cities and later more permanent settlements in the northern Sinai that will absorb the expelled population; and then create "a sterile zone of several kilometers…within Egypt, and [prevent] the return of the population to activities/residences near the border with Israel."

The existence of the document does not necessarily indicate that its recommendations are being considered by Israel's defense establishment. Despite its name, the Intelligence Ministry is not directly responsible for any body of the intelligence and security apparatus, but rather independently prepares studies and policy papers that are distributed to security agencies for review, but are not considered binding. (+972 Magazine)

Right-wing Knesset member favorably invokes Assad's 'butchery'

Right-wing MK Daniel Ayalon openly called for cleansing of the Palestinians from Gaza in an Oct. 13 interview with Al Jazeera. "We told the Gazan people to clear the area temporarily, so we can go and take Hamas out, and then, of course, they can come back," said Ayalon, speaking to Marc Lamont Hill on an episode of UpFront.

In a kind of pathetic sugar-coating, he added: "We don’t tell Gazans to go to the beaches or drown themselves… No, God forbid… Go to the Sinai Desert. There is a huge expanse, almost endless space in the Sinai Desert just on the other side of Gaza... The idea is for them to leave over to the open areas where we and the international community will prepare infrastructure… tent cities, with food and with water, just like for the refugees of Syria."

Although Al Jazeera's written account failed to quote it, a review of the video shows that Ayalon favorably compared Israel's plan for Gaza to the "butchery of Assad" in Syria. Yes, really. 

Israel's escalation toward genocide continues to get more blatant.

UN official resigns citing 'text-book case of genocide' in Gaza

The director of the UN human rights office in New York resigned over the organization's "failure" to stop what he called a "genocide" unfolding in Gaza.

Craig Mokhiber sent a letter of resignation Oct. 28 to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk. "Once again, we are seeing genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it," Mokhiber wrote. "This is a text-book case of genocide. The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine." (AA)

UN: attacks on refugee camp in Gaza may amount to war crimes

The United Nations Human Rights Commission stated Nov. 1 that it had "serious concerns" that the recent air-strikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza "are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes."

Israel claimed responsibility for the air-strikes on the camp, claiming that Hamas militants had an underground bunker in the camp and were using the refugees as human shields. However, the strike also left dozens of civilians dead and over 100 injured within the camp. Since the initial bombing of the camp on Oct. 31 there has been another strike on the camp on th next day, which Israel claims has killed a Hamas commander.

In an Oct. 31 press briefing, the spokesperson for the Secretary-General stated that the UN is continuing to monitor the situation. Another statement by the Secretary-General called for a humanitarian ceasefire, and the immediate release of all hostages.

Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in a letter addressed to the General Assembly, reiterated the need for an immediate ceasefire and called attention to the attacks on the camps, stating the conditions in Gaza are causing "extraordinary human suffering." Grandi also brought attention to the 67 United Nations relief workers in Gaza who have been killed since the conflict began. He strongly condemned the actions of Hamas and called for all hostages to be released immediately. (Jurist)

Israel's genocidal rhetoric escalates

We've already noted Bibi Netanyahu's invocation of Old Testament atrocities in an Oct. 28 speech, as well as President Isaac Herzog's Oct. 12 comment: “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved. It's absolutely not true.” In announcing the "complete siege" of Gaza, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated: "We are fighting human animals." We now note that Israeli lawmaker Meirav Ben-Ari said on the Knesset floor Oct. 16: "The children of Gaza brought this upon themselves."

Hamas too...

Ghazi Hamad, a senior member of the Hamas political bureau, has emitted similar noises. "Israel is a country that has no place on our land," Hamad said in an interview with Lebanese LBC TV Oct. 24, which was translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). "We must remove it because it constitutes a security, military and political catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nation. We are not ashamed to say this." (Times of Israel)

Blinken calls for 'humanitarian pause' as death toll tops 9,000

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pushed Israel to implement "humanitarian pauses" in its bombardment of Gaza to allow aid into the besieged territory, falling short of calls by the UN and others–including some Jewish activist groups—for an immediate ceasefire. Four weeks of Israeli airstrikes have killed over 9,200 Palestinians and left more than 32,000 wounded, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, which is governed by Hamas. Amid growing concern over the high number of civilian casualties in the enclave, the UN’s human rights office said an Oct. 31 missile attack on densely populated Jabalia refugee camp may amount to a war crime.

Meanwhile, little independent information is known about an Israeli ground invasion launched Oct. 27. International journalists are not being allowed to enter Gaza, and working conditions for Palestinian journalists in the enclave are extremely dangerous—at least 31 have been killed since the Oct. 7 Hamas raid on Israel. 

Since the Rafah border crossing with Egypt opened to allow aid into Gaza on Oct. 21, only 374 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies have entered—insufficient to cover basic needs, according to the UN, which estimates 1.5 million of Gaza's 2.3 million residents are now displaced. Israel, which has cut off Gaza's power supply, has not allowed fuel to be included in these deliveries. Hospitals, water desalination plants, and other crucial services are running on back-up generators, and some have ceased working as fuel supplies have run out. (TNH)

Palestine Red Crescent: bombing of ambulances a 'war crime'

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) asserted in a statement released Nov. 3 that an attack on their ambulances in Gaza by Israeli forces that day was in breach of the Geneva Conventions and amounted to a war crime. The statement condemned the attack, which PRCS says the targeted ambulances transporting injured civilians to al-Shifa hospital. The attack reportedly resulted in 15 deaths and over 60 injured civilians. The total number of PRCS ambulances destroyed during this and similar attacks now stands at eight. (Jurist)

UN reiterates call for humanitarian ceasefire

UN agencies and aid groups working in Gaza on Nov. 5 issued a joint Statement by Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to demand an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" to allow more relief material into the Strip. The statement concluded: "It's been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now. "

The statement also asserted: "Scores of aid workers have been killed since October 7 including 88 UNRWA colleagues—the highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict." It called for "unconditional release of all civilians held hostage," and for all sides to abide by international law. (UN News)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres added that Gaza us becoming a "graveyard for children," with more than 4,100 killed since the fighting began. (Al Jazeera)

State Department staffers offered a blistering critique of the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war in a dissent memo obtained by Politico, arguing that, among other things, the US should be willing to publicly criticize the Israelis.

"We must publicly criticize Israel's violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets," the message also states. "When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity." 

Israel quietly prepares for 'transfer' of Gazans to Egypt

Israel has been quietly trying to build international support in recent weeks for the "transfer" of several hundred thousand civilians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt for the duration of its war in the territory, unnamed foreign diplomats told the New York Times Nov. 5. The account adds:

Some Israeli hard-liners advocate keeping control of Gaza and permanently expelling its Palestinian residents. A Likud lawmaker, Ariel Kallner, has called for another nakba that would "overshadow" the original mass displacement in 1948.

"Right now, one goal: Nakba!" Mr. Kallner said on Oct. 8. "Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join!" he added.